YELLOWFIN TUNA (AHI)
Scientific Name: Thunnus albacares
Hawaiian Name: Ahi
Japanese Name: Kihada
In Hawaii, “ahi” refers to two species, the yellowfin tuna and the bigeye tuna. It has a slimmer profile than the bigeye tuna, with distinctive soft dorsal and anal fins and finlets are bright yellow. The dorsal and anal fins tend to lengthen with age. Smaller yellowfin are also called “shibi” in Hawaii.
Yellowfin tuna has flesh coloration that ranges from pink in small fish to deep red in large fish. Large fish have greater potential to have a higher fat content than smaller fish, a desirable attribute for raw fish products, as well as for searing and broiling.
Fish landed in Hawaii range from 3 to well over 200 pounds. Smaller fish are usually caught around fish aggregation buoys and over seamounts. The large fish (over 100 pounds) are usually caught in deep open ocean waters. They are preferred for their typically higher fat content and greater yields.
Virtually all Hawaii yellowfin tuna is sold fresh.