HONOLULU — A fish with a lot of “fingers” will be hands-off starting Thursday. The season for moi, or Pacific threadfin, will be closed from June 1 through August in Hawaii waters.
Moi is the only fish in Hawaii 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, Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources. “In ancient times it was reserved only for chiefs; commoners were forbidden to eat it. Today we still value it as one of our most sought-after reef fishes,” he continued. “The closed season helps sustain moi populations by protecting them during their critical summer spawning period.”