I. Biological Description
Nairagi (Tetrapturus audax) is commonly known
as striped marlin, barred marlin, and a‘u, the
Hawaiian name applied to all marlin species
caught in Hawaii. Nairagi are usually between 40
and 100 pounds in round weight and are rarely
over 130 pounds. In the marlin family, the nairagi
has the slenderest bill and the most visible
“stripes”. Although distinct when first taken from
the water, the vertical stripes fade. Other distin-
guishing characteristics of this species are the high, pointed dorsal fin (higher than the greatest
depth of the body) and more compressed sides than other species of marlin.
II. Of Special Interest For Buying/Distributing
Availability And Seasonality:
Commercial landings of nairagi have increased in Hawaii with expan-
sion of the local longline fleet. Landings are heaviest during the winter and spring (November-June)
and are lightest during the summer. The 40 to 60 pound fish which appear in the spring season of
some years are juveniles which migrate through the Hawaiian chain, passing through the islands
again in the winter with more weight.
Most of the nairagi
catch in Hawaii is landed by commercial
longline boats fishing in the open ocean.
However, nairagi may be caught near
shore by slow trolling with live bait or lures
during certain times of the year.
The longline catch of nairagi
is marketed primarily through the Honolulu fish auction, where it is sold fresh.
The flesh color of nairagi varies from fish to fish. Nairagi having an orange-red flesh are
particularly desired for the sashimi market and are often substituted for ahi. Nairagi with pink to light-
colored flesh are commonly substituted for other species of billfish or 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:
Although some longline boats which catch nairagi remain at sea for
up to 10-12 days, with proper care, the fish will retain a high quality for up to three weeks after
capture (see Table 3).
Nairagi (Striped Marlin)