Kawakawa is a species of tuna that lives in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific; although, a few stray specimens have been found in the Eastern Central Pacific. This highly migratory species can be found schooling in surface waters where the temperature is higher than 20oC.
The appearance of the Kawakawa ranges form dark blue-greenish dorsally to silvery-white on the belly, with dark spots in area between pelvic and pectoral fins. Many dark, broken, oblique stripes are found on the sides of the body and near the tail. These species have firm, thick fillets and make succulent meat substitutes. Cutlets and steaks can be cooked by grilling, barbecuing, baking, smoking, poaching or marinating.
Kawakawa is heterosexual, and the males and females appear externally similar. Males mature at 40.9 cm3 and females at 38 cm3. It is thought that the spawning season for kawakawa is in the summer, but there is evidence of spawning as early as March and as late as November. Juvenille kawakawa grow quickly, reaching 67 cm within two years.
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.