OUR PRIMARY TARGET
If we could only show you one fish it would the Roi (Peacock Grouper). This species of grouper is invasive to the Hawaiian Islands and is known to eat over 140 reef fish per year on average! Removal of this fish is sought after by many locals, using methods of local spearfishing tournaments, as well as friendly challenges by spear fishermen. The Hawaii Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is currently looking into officially identifying these fish as an environmental threat. Until that time, we count on combined efforts of fishermen and organizations such as MSA to keep their numbers down. Fortunately, these fish are curious and may simply stare at you as you swim within range for a quick shot. Roi are not a desired food source as they are known to carry a harmful toxin known as Ciguatera, which can be contracted by humans if consumed.
INVASIVE BUT EDIBLE
These fish are another invasive species known as Ta’ape (Bluestripe Snapper). While the extent to their impact on Hawaiian reefs is unknown, the giant schools, presence throughout the islands and willingness to inhabit amazing depths raises many caution flags with both commercial and recreational fisherman. Though easily spooked, they can be cornered in a cave providing an opportune moment to pull the trigger. Unlike the Roi, feel free to keep these guys for dinner!
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
The To’au (Blacktail Snapper) is our third and final species of invasive fish that we target. Although less numerous than the Ta’ape, and less ferocious than the Roi, these fish are considered a threat to our reefs and are targeted as both a fish that makes a great meal as well as a species worth removing. If you find a curious To’au, it may swim up to you as you wait on the ocean floor.
Every once in a while, as you hunt the shoreline, you may be visited by various fish species that would be considered trophies, as well as dinner for the family.
The Ulua (Giant Trevally) is the classic trophy fish of the Hawaiian Islands. Look for lines of fishing poles strewn across the roadside. The Ulua, as well as other species of trevally, are what those fisherman are hoping for. They can grow to nearly 200 lbs!!!
The Awa (Milkfish) grow to enormous sizes and put up a frantic fight when engaged upon. Though the meat is unfortunately filled with bones, locals often dry the meat before eating. Not exactly something you would find on your restaurant menu! Though giants in the water, their closest relative is actually the lake minnow!
Neither of these fish should be targeted below one foot in length (that would not only be a wasteful conservation practice, but illegal as well).
The Hawaiian reef is as delicate as any reef system in the world. Educating yourself on conservation and best management practices is the first step toward preserving what we so freely get to enjoy.
Another step is to spear some invasive species! We can help you with that 😉 Enroll now!