The Safina Center

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

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

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. Hawaii fishery, measures are in place to reduce bycatch of these vulnerable species.

Full Safina Center species report here.
Full Seafood Watch 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 Opah. Check out our mercury in seafood section.