Opah | CUESA

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Opah

Opah, or moonfish, has become a vital part of the local Hawaiian fishing economy, though it has not reached the same popularity on the mainland. Scientists know very little about its biology and ecology for several reasons: it is not very commercially popular; it lives in the deep ocean; and unlike most fish, it travels individually rather than in large schools.

There is no directly managed fishery for opah; rather, it is caught incidentally by fisherman using the longline method to catch tuna, or in gillnets targeting swordfish. The opah’s elusiveness does make it highly valuable, and demand has started to rise for this underutilized fish. Since little is known about the population, and international longlining is not well regulated, imported opah should be avoided.

As with tuna and swordfish, opah is a fatty fish with a meaty texture. It needs little preparation to let the flavor shine and can be incorporated raw into sushi or sashimi.

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »