East Hawaii News

Moi Season Comes to an End

May 25, 2016, 9:41 AM HST
* Updated May 25, 8:42 AM
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Moi, Pacific Threadfish. WikkiCommons photo.

Moi, Pacific Threadfish. WikkiCommons photo.

Beginning June 1, the moi, or Pacific threadfin, fish season will close through August in Hawai’i waters.

The “fish with a lot of ‘fingers’” is the only one in Hawai’i belonging to the Polydactylus genus, greek for “many fingers.”

“Fingers” on the fish 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 Suzanne Case, chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural 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. 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.”


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.

A commercial marine dealer, however, 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.

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

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