Bigeye Tuna (Thunnus obesus)
In Hawaii, “Ahi” refers to two species, the Bigeye Tuna and the Yellowfin Tuna. Similar in general appearance, the Bigeye may be recognized by its plump body, its larger head and its unusually large eyes. Caught in deeper, cooler water, Bigeye Tuna typically has a higher fat content than Yellowfin and is preferred by sashimi lovers. The majority of Hawaiʻi’s bigeye tuna are caught by deep-set longline fishing gear off shore of Hawaiʻi. The remainder of Hawaiian Bigeye Tuna landings come from handliners and trollers. Peak Bigeye landings occur from October through April. Learn More
Broadbill Swordfish (Mekajiki)
Swordfish is referred to a variety of names in Hawaiʻi including broadbill, broadbill swordfish, mekajiki, shutome, and aʻu kū. Broadbill Swordfish are the most widely distributed of all billfish in the Pacific Ocean. Hawaiʻi is the major source of domestic swordfish in the U.S. Hawaiian swordfish is of superior quality and is preferred over foreign imports by discerning U.S. customers. Most of the catch is flown to key markets on the East Coast, where it brings a premium price. All of Hawaii’s swordfish are landed, marketed fresh and sold at the Honolulu fish auction, where most wholesalers acquire their fish for local, domestic and export sales. Premium swordfish tends to have a high oil content, a rich flavor and has a texture that is as close to that of premium cuts of beef as any fish available in the market. All Hawaiʻi swordfish are line-caught. Longline boats fishing considerable distances from Hawaiʻi land the overwhelming majority of the catch. The majority of Aʻu Ku catch is landed from January to May. Learn More.
Opah (Lampris regius; Moonfish)
Opah or moonfish is one of the most colorful of the commercial fish species available in Hawaii. A silvery-grey upper body color shades to a rose red dotted with white spots toward the belly. Its fins are crimson, and its large eyes are encircled with gold. The moonfish’s large, round profile may be the origin of its name. Opah have three types of flesh, each a different color. Behind the head and along the backbone is an attractive orange colored flesh. Toward the belly, the flesh pales to a pink color. The fish’s cheeks yield dark red flesh. These types of flesh all cook to a white color. Opah landed in Hawaii range from 60 to over 200 pounds in weight. A pelagic wandering species, it is often found in the company of tunas and billfish. All of the opah landed in Hawaii are caught by longlining. Almost all opah sold in the U.S. market are from Hawaii. Opah are caught year-round in Hawaiʻi, but landings seem to peak in April-August. Learn More.
Opakapaka (Pristipomoides filamentosus; Pink Snapper)
Opakapaka, also known as Hawaiian pink snapper, is found at depths between 180 and 600 feet. Opakapaka has a clear, light pink flesh with a delicate flavor that has earned it the reputation as Hawaiʻi’s premium snapper. Caught year-round in the Hawaiian Islands, there is a distinct peak in landings during the winter season (October-February), particularly in the fishery around the main Hawaiian Islands. Fish caught during the winter months tend to have a higher fat content than those caught in the summer, and opakapaka yields the best sashimi during the winter. Opakapaka range in size from 1 to 18 pounds. It grows larger in the Hawaiian Islands than anywhere else in the South Pacific. Opakapaka are harvested exclusively with vertical hook-and-line gear. Learn More.
This October, join the Hawaii Seafood Council and Conservation International in celebrating Hawaiʻi Seafood Month, a month long event highlighting Hawai'i seafood and the fishers, restaurants, retailers, and seafood businesses committed to sustainable, local seafood and vibrant fishing communities across our paeʻaina.