I. Biological Description
Aku (Katsuwonus pelamis) is commonly known as skipjack tuna. Other names for this species include striped tuna, oceanic skipjack and katsuo. This near-surface schooling tuna is widely distributed across the Pacific Ocean.
II. Of Special Interest For Buying/Distributing
Availability and Seasonality: Aku is historically the most important single commercial fish species in terms of landed weight and value in Hawaii, as well as throughout much of the central and western Pacific. Hawaii’s aku fishery, however, is characterized by wide annual and seasonal fluctuations in landings. Aku caught in Hawaii routinely range between 4 and 15 pounds in round weight, but larger fish (16 to 30 pounds in round weight), move into Hawaiian waters during the summer season of increased abundance (April-September).
Fishing Methods: Most of the aku catch in Hawaii is landed by commercial pole-and-line fishermen who induce aku to bite on feathered hooks by chumming with live bait. The pole-and-line catch is sorted according to fish size and is initially stored and sold in tubs head down so that blood drains away from the flesh. Trollers and longline boats land the remainder of the aku catch.
Distribution: Troll-caught aku is marketed through fish auctions in Honolulu and Hilo,