Opah – Hawaii & California, Longline
Opah is an open-ocean fish found throughout all tropical and temperate oceans. It can grow to six and a half feet in length, approximately 550 pounds in weight, and may live for 11 years. There has has been no population assessment of Opah in the Pacific Ocean, so its abundance is unknown.
Opah is typically caught as bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries targeting tuna and swordfish. Pelagic longlines have minimal impacts on bottom ocean habitat but can accidentally capture high numbers of vulnerable species, such as sea birds, sea turtles, and sharks. In the U.S. fishery, operating out of Hawaii and California, measures are in place to reduce bycatch of these vulnerable species.