Akule (Bigeye Scad)
Akule or big-eye scad is a tropical fish that is found in huge schools either inshore or in the open ocean around the world. It is the most popular reef fish in Hawaii, and is often used as live bait to catch larger fish such as marlin and ahi tuna.
Akule are bluish to greenish silver on the upper third of their body, fading to white on the lower two-thirds. The fish resembles a mackerel with a long and slender body, but earns its “big-eye” status from enormous eyes. It is a relatively small fish, growing to about a foot long (30 cm). It has a sweet, oily flavor similar to mackerel and is great for grilling.
Akule are unique in that they spend their life between two marine habitats, the coral reef and open ocean. They are classified as “coastal pelagic” fish. Akule aggregate when spawning, in which they spawn pelagic eggs that hatch into pelagic larvae. Juveniles, called Halalū, migrate inshore and recruit into schools when they are about three to six inches. They spend the next eight to 12 months growing to sexual maturity, around nine inches. They can grow up to 15 inches, but most are between 8 and 10 inches. Adults then move to the open ocean, where they will spend most of their adult life. Adult akule have been found to spawn in the spring and summer months. Before spawning occurs, mature adults move into shallow, sandy, or flat-bottomed areas. Akule predominately feed at night. Their diet consists of small fish and crustaceans that live in the water column.
This fishery uses a variety of artisanal hook-and-line methods to catch coastal pelagic fish such as tuna, marlin, swordfish, mahi mahi, wahoo (ono) and others. A pole and line with live bait scattered into the water is used to catch feeding skipjack tuna. Trolling with lures and lines, and handlines with lures, lines and bait bags are used to target larger fish such as bigeye tuna, swordfish, mahi mahi and wahoo.
Hawaiian Surround Gill Net
This fishery uses a traditional net fishing technique to whereby schools of fish are spotted and then harvesters surround the fish with a monofilament gillnet.
This traditional Hawaiian fishery uses "palu," or vegetable feed in Hawaiian, to attract fish into schools which are then surrounded and captured using a hoop net from canoes.