The Safina Center

Koho salmon.Koho salmon.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

Some problems exist with this species' status or catch methods, or information is insufficient for evaluating. Grouper, Hawaiian (Hapu’upu’u) – U.S. Hawaii These fish contain levels of mercury or PCBs that may pose a health risk to adults and children.

Hawaiian Grouper is a large-bodied, long-lived grouper, found only in waters off the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll. These traits make them highly vulnerable to fishing pressure.

In Hawaii, Hawaiian Grouper are caught in a mixed fishery with six deep water snappers, which collectively are called the Hawaii Deep 7 Bottomfish complex. These species are managed through annual catch limits and closed fishing areas. While the Deep 7 Bottomfish complex as a whole is considered to have a healthy abundance, the abundance of individual species is uncertain and the Hawaiian Grouper population is potentially depleted. Catches of Hawaiian Grouper are low compared to other Deep 7 species.

Hawaiian Grouper are caught with handlines, which cause little damage to bottom habitats and catch few non-target species.

Full species report here.

This fish may have high levels of mercury that could pose a health risk to adults and children. More info here about mercury in grouper. Check out our mercury in seafood section.