Opah – Hawaii & California, Longline
Opah is a pelagic species of fish (swims near the surface) 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.
Opah in the Pacific Ocean is probably at a medium level of abundance, however no formal population assessment has been done.
Opah is typically caught as bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries targeting tuna and swordfish. Pelagic longlines have minimal impact on bottom 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.