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
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.
Onaga (Etelis coruscans; Long-Tail Red Snapper)
Onaga is one of Hawaii’s fish better known by its Japanese name than by its Hawaiian name: ʻula ʻula koaʻe. This fish is also referred to as ruby or scarlet snapper, due to it’s brilliant red color. Onaga have a unique profile with distinctive caudal fins that end in long, slender points. Onaga is harvested mainly during the fall and winter months (October to March), when demand (and prices) for red-colored snappers among Hawaiʻi’s Japanese population is at its peak. Fish caught during the winter months seem to have a higher fat content than those caught in the summer; hence Onaga yield the best sashimi during the winter season. Harvested exclusively with vertical hook-and-line gear, this bottomfish is caught in deep waters at 600-1000 feet. Learn More.
Hapuʻupuʻu (Epinephelus quernus; Grouper)
Hapuʻupuʻu, commonly called Hawaiian sea bass or grouper, is only known to occur in the Hawaiian Islands and at seamounts just northwest of Hawaiʻi. This deepwater bottomfish is usually caught at between 300 and 900 feet. Hapuʻupuʻu is noted for its clear white flesh that is almost as delicate in taste as that of Hawaii’s deepwater snappers. The largest landings of hapuʻupuʻu usually occur in the fall and winter (October-December) and in the spring (February-April). Hapuʻupuʻu are line-caught using deepwater handline gear with power reels. Learn More
Mahimahi (Coryphaena hippurus)
The Hawaiian name Mahimahi has become the common name for what is also referred to as the common dolphinfish in the U.S. Hawaiʻi’s Mahimahi is a highly-regarded product which is best eaten when fresh. Local Mahimahi is superior in quality to fresh substitutes from Latin America and imported frozen fillets from Taiwan and Latin America. The supply of locally caught Mahimahi is limited and seasonal considering the high demand for this species. Commercial Mahimahi landings in Hawaii are made by trollers and longliners. Although available most of the year, mahimahi catches in Hawaii usually peak in March-May and September-November. Learn More.
Ono (Acanthocybium solandri)
Ono or wahoo is a close relative of the king mackerel. Built like a torpedo, they are fast swimmers. Ono are most available in Hawaiʻi during the summer and fall (May-October). Ono may grow to more than 100 pounds in weight, but the usual size of the fish caught in Hawaiʻi is 8 to 30 pounds. Hawaiian ono are line-caught with the majority of catch attributed to longline boats and some trollers using lures and baits. European explorers who first mapped the Hawaiian Islands found ono to be plentiful off the island of Oʻahu. Maps of the time indicate that a very common spelling of the word “Oahu” was “Wahoo,” and this is believed to be the origin of the fish’s other name. 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.