SEATTLE – Scientists have identified three new species of opah, a colorful, peculiar deep-diving fish that is increasingly served in U.S. restaurants.
A team of researchers with NOAA Fisheries has identified five distinct species of opah, also called moonfish, revealing that there isn’t a single global species.
They describe the differences in a recently published paper in the peer-reviewed journal Zootaxa.
Opah isn’t harvested by commercial fisheries but is often caught incidentally during commercial fishing for tuna or swordfish off the coasts of Hawaii and California.
Sport anglers also catch moonfish, which on average weighs about 100 pounds and can be bigger than an automobile tire.
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