Artwork: Les Hata © Secretariat of the Pacific Community

SHORTBILL SPEARFISH (HEBI)

Hawaii Market Name: Hebi
Scientific Name: Tetrapturus angustirostris
Hawaiian Name: A`u
Japanese Name: Fuuraikajiki

Shortbill spearfish are commonly known as Hebi in Hawaii. Its dorsal fin is shorter than that of other billfish species, and its bill is very short in comparison. Hebi caught in Hawaiian waters are usually between 20 and 40 pounds in weight.

Hebi has white to pink colored flesh that is somewhat softer than that of Nairagi or Kajiki. Its flavor is mild (although more pronounced than ahi). It is one of several species of billfish, which are suitable for grilled or broiled "catch of the day" menu items in restaurants.

FISHING METHODS

All Hawaii spearfish are line-caught. Longline boats that set hooks in deep water harvest most of the spearfish catch in Hawaii. However, spearfish are also caught by trollers using lures and baits.

SEASONALITY

Hebi is available year round, however peak landings occurring June through October.

PREPARATION NOTES

Texture: Softer than Nairagi and Kajiki
Flavor: Mild
Suggested Preparations: Broiled, Grilled, Sautéed, Raw (poke)

Restaurants usually grill hebi, but other cooking methods will work as well.

HEALTH & NUTRITION

Hawaii Spearfish is an excellent source of healthy, extra lean protein. It is also low in saturated fat and low in sodium. It is rich in niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium. Hawaii Spearfish is a good source of vitamin B6 and iodine. Hawaii Spearfish also provides about 350 mg of omega-3’s (DHA and EPA) per 4 ounce serving of fresh fish. Click here for nutritional labels and claims.

Click here to download a two-page description of this species.