Blue Ocean Institute

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

Onaga is a deepwater snapper that grows at moderate rates and becomes sexually mature around seven years of age. It is found in tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and in Hawaii it is found in two distinct regions, the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) and the North Western Hawaiian Island (NWHI) region.

Onaga in the MHI region have low abundance and are considered overfished, while abundance is very high in the NWHI. The latter region is a national monument, however, and closed to all bottom fishing.

Onaga is fished primarily by handlines which cause little habitat damage and produce moderate levels of bycatch. Effective management is in place and total allowable catch limits have been lowered to address the overfished condition of the MHI region.

Full species report here.

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