Page 18 - Hawaii Seafood Buyers Guide

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I. Biological Description
Hebi (Tetrapturus angustirostris) is commonly
known as shortbill spearfish. Its dorsal fin is
shorter than that of other billfish species, and its
bill is almost nonexistent. Hebi caught in Hawaiian
waters are usually between 20 and 40 pounds in
round weight.
II. Of Special Interest For Buying/
Availability and Seasonality:
Commercial landings of hebi have increased in Hawaii in proportion to
the expansion of the longline fleet. Although available year-round, the peak in landings occurs during
the summer and fall (June-October).
Fishing Methods:
Most of the hebi catch in Hawaii is harvested by commercial longline boats which
set hooks in deep water. However, spearfish may strike at surface lures, and a few are landed by
The longline catch of hebi is marketed fresh primarily through the Honolulu fish auction.
Hebi is one of several species of billfish which are inter-changed or substituted for tuna
as broiled “catch of the day” menu items in up-scale restaurants.
III. Of Special Interest For
Preparation/Quality Control
Shelf Life and Quality Control:
some longline boats which catch hebi
remain at sea for up to 10 to 12 days, with
proper care, the fish will retain a high
quality for about two weeks (see Table 3).
Product Forms and Yields:
Hebi is sold whole, dressed (headed and gutted), or filleted for local sale
and for export. The yield of fillet from a whole fish averages 45-55% (see Table 5).
IV. Of Special Interest To Consumers/Food Service Personnel
Color, Taste, Texture:
Hebi has amber-colored
flesh that is somewhat softer than that of nairagi
or kajiki. Its flavor is mild (although more pro-
nounced than ahi).
Restaurants usually grill hebi, but other cooking methods will work as well.
Hebi (Shortbill Spearfish)