Page 30 - Hawaii Seafood Buyers Guide

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I. Biological Description
Ono (Acanthocybium solandri), commonly known
as wahoo, is a close relative of the king mackerel.
Unlike true mackerel, ono rarely school, but
groups may be found around fish aggregation
buoys. Surface catches indicate that ono associ-
ate with banks, pinnacles and flotsam. However,
longline catches suggest that this species is also
widely distributed in the open ocean.
Ono may grow to more than 100 pounds in round weight, but the usual size of the fish caught in
Hawaii is 8 to 30 pounds in round weight.
II. Of Special Interest For Buying/Distributing
Availability And Seasonality:
The supply (and price) of fresh ono is as limited and erratic as that of
locally-caught mahimahi. Not an especially abundant fish, ono is most available in Hawaii during the
summer and fall (May-October).
Fishing Methods:
About 80% of the commercial ono landed in Hawaii is caught by trollers. The
remainder is caught on longline gear. Among sport fishermen, ono is popular as a light-tackle
Troll-caught ono is marketed through fish auctions in Honolulu and Hilo, through inter-
mediary buyers on all major islands, and directly to restaurants. The longline catch is sold primarily
through the Honolulu auction.
It is not possible for restaurants to offer fresh mahimahi throughout the year, so chefs
have looked to other white-fleshed species, including ono, as substitutes. Thus, ono often keeps
company with mahimahi as a popular entree on the menus of restaurants in Hawaii and the U.S.
mainland. Although ono is used as a substitute for mahimahi, mahimahi is more moist and sweeter
than ono.
III. Of Special Interest For Preparation/Quality Control
Shelf Life And Quality Control:
The shelf life of fresh ono is relatively short — 10 days when properly
cared for (see Table 3). Ono keeps longer if stored whole (especially if hung head down) and not
filleted until shortly before use. When the fish is headed and gutted, the collar bone and belly areas
are exposed to bacteria which can then cause accelerated deterioration of the remaining flesh.
The first external evidence of deterioration in a whole ono is discoloration of the skin around the
head and gill plates and a general softening of the flesh. In a dressed fish, discoloration of the flesh
Ono (Wahoo)