Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tasty Kona Kampachi of Kona Blue Water Farms

Continued from the post: NELHA - Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority...

We cruised past the open water fish farm operated by Kona Blue Water Farms. They have huge submersible net enclosures out in this area where the ocean current rips past.

I dove under their nets for an assignment in the past, so I know how bad the current is under there. One day I had to cancel the shoot because the current was just too strong to even swim in. On the other day, I did about three tank dives in a row. The current was still ripping on that day but I had to shoot some pictures of their nets and fish for them. The job was one of the toughest ones I've ever done in my career, but the resulting pictures were very interesting as well as rewarding.


scuba diving worker and 3,000-cubic-meter submersible fish pen installed in open ocean just off Kona Coast to raise Kona Kampachi, Hawaiian yellowtail, aka almaco jack or kahala, Seriola rivoliana, Kona Blue Water Farms, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean

They raise very tasty and now famous Kona Kampachi, also known as almaco jack, Hawaiian yellowtail, or kahala, Seriola rivoliana. Ironically, farm raised amberjack is arguably healthier than the natural variety. The fish farming operation produces fish that are free from ciguatera, the reef toxin that is common to this species when they live in the natural environment. The fish are fed pellets, so they don’t ingest any reef toxins.


juvenile Kona Kampachi, Hawaiian yellowtail, aka almaco jack or kahala, Seriola rivoliana, inside open ocean fish pen, Kona Blue Water Farms, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean

Kahala in Hawaii is notorious. Usually the fish Kahala means a big amberjack very likely carrying cigatera toxin, in addition, their meats are usually infested with gross parasitic worms. So they came up with the idea of marketing the fish as "Kona Kampachi."

Kampachi is a Japanese word and actually means the greater amberjack, Seriola dumerili, in Japan. So I guess their naming is not that far off.

I grew up eating Kampachi in Japan. Definitely it is my favorite fish to eat in raw, "sashimi." It tastes very fatty but not as heavy as the raw meat of a yellowtail amberjack, Seriola lalandi, which most likely causes you a heartburn later on when you eat too much.

If you ever visit Hawaii, make sure to try it out. You won't regret. Any major decent restaurant carry this fish on their menu.

To be continued to: False Killer Whales Gang Hunting Lone Yellowfin Tuna.

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