Uku is commonly known as the Hawaiʻi blue-green snapper. This fish shares many of the same qualities that have given opakapaka and onaga their reputations as outstanding table fish. Like other Hawaii snappers, uku has clear, translucent pink flesh that is delicately flavored, moist, and firm. Uku caught in the summer season is often rich in healthy fish oils and excellent as sashimi. Line-caught, mostly with vertical hook-and-line gear, this bottomfish is caught in shallower waters no deeper than 360 feet. Uku is caught year round in Hawaiʻi, with the greatest availability between May and July. Learn More.
Bottomfishing has been practiced across the Hawaiian Archipelago since the 1930s. Bottomfishing methods using handlines and baited hooks originated with the ancient Hawaiians but have been modernized with the introduction of small-mechanized reels and line pullers. Underwater chumming practices of the ancient Hawaiians continue in the present-day fishery. Fishermen target both deepwater species (opakapaka, onaga, hapu’upu’u) and mid-water species (uku) associated with pinnacles and other bottom features on offshore slopes and banks. Since the beginning of the bottomfish fishery, commercial fishermen have voluntarily rotated fishing grounds to allow local fish populations to recover and to conserve the overall stocks. Learn More.