Moi Season Closed June Through August

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Moi Season Closed June Through August

A fish with a lot of “fingers” is hands-off since June 1. The season for moi, or Pacific threadfin, will be closed from June through August in Hawai‘i waters, according to a news release from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Moi is the only fish in Hawai‘i belonging to the genus Polydactylus, which is Greek for “many fingers.” The “fingers” are actually six filaments extending from the base of each pectoral fin. It is also one of the relatively few Hawaiian fishes to undergo sex reversal, changing from male to female by the time it reaches about 10 inches in length.

“Moi is one of Hawai‘i’s most significant fish species, from a cultural perspective,” said Bruce Anderson, administrator at DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources. “In ancient times it was reserved only for chiefs; commoners were forbidden to eat it. But if moi suddenly appeared in large numbers, chiefs considered it an omen of disaster.”

“Today we still value it as one of our most sought-after reef fishes,” he said. “The closed season helps sustain moi populations by protecting them during their critical summer spawning period. We ask for the fishing public’s kokua in complying with the closed season, and protecting our ocean resources.”

Undersized moi seized by DLNR in February 2013. This and other fishing violations by a Hau‘ula fisherman led to his sentencing of 213 hours of community service, $1,500 in fines and one year probation.

Early Hawaiians also placed a kapu, or prohibition, on certain fish during their spawning season as a conservation measure.

During the open season — September through May — the minimum size for moi is 11 inches, and the bag limit for possession and/or sale is 15. However, a commercial marine dealer may possess and sell more than 15 moi during the open season with receipts issued for the purchase.

Copies of Hawai‘i’s fishing regulations are available at DLNR’s Aquatic Resources offices, most fishing supply stores, and online at

To report fishing violations, call 643-DLNR (3567).

By | 2017-06-02T18:54:05+00:00 June 5th, 2017|0 Comments

About the Author:

Léo Azambuja, editor of For Kaua‘i, has won multiple journalism awards in the state of Hawai‘i, including investigative and enterprise reporting, spot news and feature writing, photojournalism and online reporting.

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