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Angler catches two tagged opakapaka within 20 day span

Eddie Ebisui III recording depth, location and size of tagged bottom fish
Eddie Ebisui III recording depth, location and size of tagged bottom fish

On 3/6/2016, as Big Island angler Michael De Wilde unloaded his catch of bottom fish, his fish buyer noticed a yellow tag in one of the opakapaka.  They scraped off the algae and Michael noted the tag number.  Michael entered the information about the recovered fish on the online Tag It Recovery Form and we determined that his fish was originally tagged off Maui southside by Eddie Ebisui III, and had been at liberty for 1270 days. It had traveled 70 miles to the Big Island westside, and grew 8 inches to a fork length of 20.5 inches.  Michael was rewarded with a PIFG Bottom Fish Recovery shirt and we were grateful for the recovery information.

Twenty days later Michael caught another tagged opakapaka!  The second opakapaka had also been tagged by Eddie Ebisui III in the same general area a few days earlier than when he had tagged the first opakapaka and was recaptured by Michael in the same general Big Island westside area. The second fish had been at liberty for 1294 days, traveled 70 miles, and had grown 7.8 inches to a fork length of 19 inches.  This seems to indicate that opakapaka travel large distances in schools of similar sized fish.

opakapaka taggedHere's the second opakapaka wearing the yellow tag.



Mike wearing Tag Reward shirtAnd here's Michael holding a much larger opakapaka and wearing the limited edition Lawai'a Magazine t-shirt he received for his second tagged fish.  He was given a PIFG Bottomfish Tagging t-shirt for his first recovered fish and continues to check his catch carefully for tags.

Ahi Tagging and Reporting Instructions

Click image below to enlarge and print.

Tag It Ahi data card reverse


Ahi Tagging Demo

Taken at the Oahu Ahi Tagging Workshop.  Clay Tam demonstrates the proper technique of inserting a conventional tag into an 8lb big eye tuna.

 Insert the tag at the base of the second dorsal fin. The tagging stick should be aimed at a 45° angle, aiming to get the dart beneath the dorsal fin rays (small bones that hold up the dorsal fin).


Pull on the tag to ensure that the tag's barb is caught on the opposite side's fin ray bones.  If the tag is loose, pull it out and start again if the fish looks like it is doing ok.


The tag's barb should be anchored by the fin ray bones as shown.  (Please don't dissect the live fish to check!)

Ulua/Papio Tagging to kick off at Tokunaga Challenge June 9 - 12, 2016

Tagging Challenge

PIFG, in partnership with the S. Tokunaga Store and Shimano America Corp, has brought back ulua and papio tagging in the State of the Hawaii by reintroducing the Tagging Challenge in the 2016 Tokunaga Ulua Challenge tournament. As the first major local shoreline tournament of 2016, the Tagging Challenge provides tournament participants the opportunity to demonstrate resource conservation and contribute fisheries science. It is a privilege to have Shimano America Corp. as a proud partner in launching the Tagging Challenge as they have actively demonstrated their commitment to fishing and sustaining our fishing culture and traditions for the future.

Tags and 150 tagging kits will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. So be sure to sign up early. Prizes will be awarded during the 2016 Ulua Challenge awards ceremonies.

2014 Ahi travels around the islands

YFT 2014 satellite tag trackThis is the path an ahi took in 2014 around the Hawaiian Islands.  It was tagged with a satellite pop-up tag on June 28, 2014, and the tag stopped recording and popped off on August 19, 2014.



PIFG Launches new Ahi Satellite Tagging Project

PIFG Launches new Ahi Satellite Tagging Project

Working with Atlantic Bluefin scientist Dr. Molly Lutcavage, Director of the Large Pelagics Research Center (LPRC), PIFG successfully launched a new tuna tagging project on Kauai last month by placing two pop up archival satellite of PSAT tags in yellowfin tunas of 160 and 180 pounds. Two experienced Kauai-based boat captains assisted the tagging team in finding, capturing and releasing the large yellowfin tunas in June and July 2014.

The goal is to tag 3 more yellowfin tunas this summer then to direct efforts to tag 5 bigeye tunas in the winter. The purpose for tagging these mature tuna is to better understand their migration patterns and behavior once they leave the Hawaiian waters. Tags record light levels (used to estimate daily geoposition), temperature and depth for 9 months. The PSAT is programmed to then will release from the tether, float to the surface and, hopefully, transmit the data to receiving stations on NOAA satellites. Once received, the data will be examined and analyzed by Dr. Tim Lam from the LPRC.

In support of this project, the PIFG team provided a public presentation on the Kauai Ahi Tagging Project and conducted an ahi tag training and certification workshop in preparation for the tagging events. PIFG also provided project outreach by distributing Tag Recovery Reward flyers to various Fishing Tackle and Fish Dealers Statewide. Project updates will also be published in the Lawaia magazine and on the PIFG website

We would like to acknowledge and thank the following participating fishermen who were instrumental in kicking off this project on Kauai. Captain Ryan Koga, Captain Marvin Lum, Captain Alan Horikawa, Cory Nakamura, Eric Hadama, Craig Koga, Mark Oyama, and Bryan Hayashi.


A Big Mahalo to the Western Pacific Fishery Council for sponsoring this cooperative research tagging project.


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NOAA Lists Coral Species under ESA

NOAA Lists 20 New Corals as Threatened Under the ESA

NOAA Lists 20 New Corals as Threatened Under the ESA

In total, 22 species of coral are now protected under the Endangered Species Act, including the two corals (elkhorn and staghorn) listed as threatened in 2006. Fifteen of the newly listed species occur in the Indo-Pacific and five in the Caribbean (see table on reverse for details). None are found in Hawaii...(Read the full story here)

NOAA Lists 20 Corals as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

Seafood Information

For the latest information on Hawaii's fresh seafood, seafood safety and those who provide it, check out the Hawaii Seafood Council.