ʻŌpelu (Decaperus spp.; Mackerel Scad)
‘Ōpelu, or mackerel scad, is a common tropical fish found around the world in large schools either inshore or in the open ocean. In Hawai‘i, this fish traditionally was a staple food for many people and continues to be an important source of food for many local residents. ‘Ōpelu are often used as bait to catch larger fish such as marlin and tuna. In traditional times, ‘ōpelu fishing was restricted from March through July during its spawning period. In Hawaiʻi, ʻopelu are harvested using one of two methods: The traditional "hoop net" method involves fishers using vegetable based "palu" or feed to attract fish into schools which are then surrounded and captured using a hoop net from canoes; or artisanal hook-and-line methods in which fishers use a pole and line with live bait scattered into the water. Learn More.
Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares)
In Hawaii, “Ahi” refers to two species, the Bigeye Tuna and the Yellowfin Tuna. Yellowfin Tuna are caught year-round in Hawaiʻi’s waters but are most abundant during the summer season (May-September). Yellowfin have a slimmer profile than the bigeye tuna and have distinctive bright yellow finlets and soft dorsal and anal fins that tend to lengthen with age. Large fish (over 100 pounds) are usually caught in deep open ocean waters and are preferred for their typically higher fat content and greater yields. Most of Hawaiʻi’s Yellowfin Tuna are caught by deep-set longline fishing gear off shore of Hawaiʻi. The remainder of Hawaiʻi landings come from trollers, handliners and pole & line boats (aku boats). Learn More
Kajiki (Makaira nigricans; Blue Marlin, Aʻu)
Kajiki is commonly known as Pacific blue marlin, or a`u, the Hawaiian name applied to all marlin species. It is distinguishable by its larger size, heavier bill, and rougher, dark/black skin. It lacks the obvious stripes of the nairagi. Kajiki caught around the Hawaiian Islands can get as large as 1,600 pounds in round weight, but the usual size of fish marketed is between 80 and 300 pounds in round weight. All Hawaii blue marlin are line-caught. Trolling boats using lures and baits, and longliners fishing off shore land Hawaii’s blue marlin.
The heaviest landings of Kajiki are June through October. 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.