Artwork: Les Hata © Secretariat of the Pacific Community

WAHOO (ONO)

Scientific Name: Acanthocybium solandri
Hawaiian Name: Ono Malani
Japanese Name: Kamasu-sawara

Ono is a Hawaiian word meaning "good to eat." It is commonly known as wahoo and is a close relative of the king mackerel.

Built like a torpedo, they are fast swimmers. Ono rarely school, but groups are often found around fish aggregation buoys. Surface catches indicate that ono associate 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 weight, but the usual size of the fish caught in Hawaii is 8 to 30 pounds. Among sport fishermen, it’s a popular light-tackle gamefish. Ono in Hawaii are caught by trollers and longliners.

European explorers who first mapped the Hawaiian Islands found ono to be plentiful off the island of Oahu. Maps of the time indicate that a very common spelling of the word "Oahu" was "Wahoo," and this is believed to be the origin of the fish's other name.

FISHING METHOD

All Hawaii wahoo are line-caught. Longline boats harvest most of the wahoo catch in Hawaii. However, wahoo are also caught by trollers using lures and baits.

SEASONALITY

Most available in Hawaii during the summer and fall, May-October.

PREPARATION NOTES

Texture: Flaky & Delicate
Flavor: Mild
Suggested Preparations: Grilled, Broiled, Blackened, Sautéed, Poached, Tempura-good cooking method for “lean fish”.

Versatile using cooking methods suitable for "lean" fish (those with low fat content), so that the flesh does not dry out when cooked like poaching. The shelf life of fresh ono is relatively short.

HEALTH & NUTRITION

Hawaii Wahoo 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 B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium. Hawaii Wahoo also provides about 375 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.

SUSTAINABILITY

Current status: Hawaii wahoo are being fished sustainably.  Pacific wahoo population status is estimated to be high.  But no information is available about whether overfishing is occurring or not.

Visit the Pacific Wahoo page at NOAA's FishWatch.gov for more information.

The FishWatch™ emblem is a registered trademark of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is used with permission.