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  • ʻOpihi

    Ahh, ʻopihi, those salty rubbery Hawaiian limpets. Some people risk their lives to gather them, because others will pay big bucks to be able to serve even a little bit at their baby lūʻau. They've been overharvested and now the Legislature is considering placing a modern-day kapu on the little guys to let 'em repopulate the shorelines.

    I have to admit that ʻopihi are not my favorite mollusk -- give me a good slice of miso tako, or a bag of dried ika, any day. But it would be a sad day in Hawaiʻi if they weren't around.

  • #2
    Re: ʻOpihi

    I'm all for the ban. At least for the next 5-10 years or so. However long it takes for them to repopulate.

    Just look at the Humpback population, which went down to fewer than 500. If they hadn't banned commercial humpback whaling in the 60's, they'd probably be gone by now.

    Then again, my willingness to ban Opihi sales may be partially biased, as I personally HATE the taste of it. BLECK. Regardless of price, you couldn't pay me to eat that stuff. That and raw crab are probably the only two items at a Luau I won't touch.

    Still, I respect Opihi as an important component of Hawaiian culture and Hawaii's marine ecosystem that must be preserved.

    Perhaps one of those cold-water aquafarms off the Kona Coast can figure out a way to grow them in a controlled environment. They're already doing it with Abalone.
    sigpic The Tasty Island

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    • #3
      Re: ʻOpihi

      Sad Day indeed. I love to eat Opihi with Ahi Poki!

      Auntie Lynn
      Be AKAMAI ~ KOKUA Hawai`i!
      Philippians 4:13 --- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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      • #4
        Re: ʻOpihi

        A ban is a GOOD idea...but how do you enforce it? The state still can't stop ICE, Cockfighting and growing pakalolo . Eh Brah, U like buy one five finga brag Opihi?
        Listen to KEITH AND THE GIRLsigpic

        Stupid people come in all flavors-buzz1941
        Flickr

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        • #5
          Re: ʻOpihi

          Originally posted by alohabear
          A ban is a GOOD idea...but how do you enforce it? The state still can't stop ICE, Cockfighting and growing pakalolo . Eh Brah, U like buy one five finga brag Opihi?
          Unfortunately that would have to be the job of the DLNR, who recently got dinged in a State Auditor's report that got some press a little while ago, in which it was reported that DLNR does a lousy job at enforcing the existing conservation rules, let alone any new ones.

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          • #6
            Re: ʻOpihi

            Originally posted by alohabear
            A ban is a GOOD idea...but how do you enforce it? The state still can't stop ICE, Cockfighting and growing pakalolo . Eh Brah, U like buy one five finga brag Opihi?
            It's going to take some education of the people that if everybody doesn't stop harvesting the buggers and let the opihi restock themselves, pretty soon no one will have opihi. The tradeoff is: manini kine opihi for maybe 5 more years den pau forever with no ban, or no moa opihi at all for 5 years, den going get bumbucha kine like small kid times later on?

            And it's not just overharvesting that may be preventing the opihi from replenishing themselves. It may be environmental changes in the ocean too.

            Native American fishery treaties up here allow tribes to harvest all they want of salmon and shellfish during the season because it is their historic way of living (everyone else has limits), but they also know if they don't manage their fisheries, they will eventually lose their ability to have that salmon and shellfish. So they have active resource management programs where they also raise salmon smolts and shellfish spats to return to the wild so there's a continous cycle of replenishment. That means there will be some for everyone way into the future.

            Miulang
            "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like.” --Mark Twain

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            • #7
              Re: ʻOpihi

              Maybe they can make the ban along the lines of fishing and diving between Diamond Head and "Da Wall"...every other year no can...or something lidat.

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              • #8
                Re: ʻOpihi

                Originally posted by Miulang
                Native American fishery treaties up here allow tribes to harvest all they want of salmon and shellfish...
                One of the strangest shellfish varieties I've ever seen from your part of the country (that is until you return home to Maui) is the geoduck clam. From what I recall, it was pronounced "gooeyduck"...and boy...it is indeed a strange looking variety of clam! The Pacific Northwest is the only place I've ever seen this clam which looks, to the those unaware of the geoduck, like a well...umm...a bambucha kine thing.

                I wonder if the opihi can be raised aquaculturally like clams and oysters are in New England? Farming oysters is an especially big business out on Cape Cod, particularly in Wellfleet (outer Cape town). There is even someone raising oysters in the coastal waters off of my current hometown in RI. I'm pretty sure UH-Hilo has an aquaculture department, in which they have raised all kinds of aquatic species.They have even raised the variety of lobsters, normally found in the waters off New England, in Hawaiian waters. I'm just curious if the opihi has been part of their studies. I don't see why it should be that much more difficult to raise, than an oyster, mussel, or clam, it being similar to the shellfish noted.
                Last edited by Surfingfarmboy; January 24, 2006, 04:52 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: ʻOpihi

                  If I remember right Opihi tend to be in places where waves break onto rocks (like breakwaters). So if you want to raise them in a farm, not only do you need seawater in an enclosure but you will need the rocks and a machine to generate the waves.

                  By the way what do Opihi eat in order to live?

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                  • #10
                    Re: ʻOpihi

                    Was reading Tuesday's Honolulu Star Bulletin and I came across this article that says that a company on Kauai is importing a close relative of opihi from Ireland.

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                    • #11
                      Re: ʻOpihi

                      KHON or KITV did a story on imported limpets a few days ago. The folks asked to taste-test them in the market weren't impressed. Not firm/crunchy enough, and the texture was off overall. I am curious, though. I might not be as picky as some other 'opihi fans. Seems some regions have more than they know what to do with, while ours are being dangerously depleted, so why not?

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                      • #12
                        Re: ʻOpihi

                        This past Sunday, KHON's Leslie Wilcox did a report on that Irish import. The report claimed Foodland is the only place currently retailing the stuff. They sell it shucked and marinated "Poke-style", as their fish buyer claims it's necessary. Otherwise, the flavor would be "too distinquishable and different" from local Opihi.

                        They were selling it for $29/lb..

                        Customers interviewed in the report were pretty much satisfied with the Irish import - with claims such as "not bad.. pretty good!" and "If dis' all going get, good enough fo' me!".
                        Last edited by Pomai; June 21, 2006, 12:37 PM. Reason: PZ mentioned this just before I posted my take on it. :o
                        sigpic The Tasty Island

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                        • #13
                          Re: ʻOpihi

                          Originally posted by pzarquon
                          KHON or KITV did a story on imported limpets a few days ago. The folks asked to taste-test them in the market weren't impressed.
                          If memory serves me right (it sometimes doesn't ) One of them did indeed say that, but the other 2 folks were actually quite favorable of it.

                          I suppose the real test would be to go to Foodland and try it for yourself.
                          Last edited by Pomai; June 21, 2006, 02:22 PM.
                          sigpic The Tasty Island

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                          • #14
                            Opihi from Ireland

                            Aloha , has anyone tried the Opihi in Market City Foodland? Or at the Taste of Hawaii? Or at the farmer's market on Ward Ave.? They are from Ireland ....... Are they ono?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Opihi from Ireland

                              I was on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Kahului to Honolulu last December and happened to read an article on opihi in the in-flight Hana Hou magazine. I've provided the link to the article in which a local girl from Hawaii rates the opihi (limpets) of Ireland. Of note, fresh opihi are available here in Rhode Island. Not sure what the Portuguese who import them here call them; they import opihi from the Azores.

                              Irish opihi reference in Hana Hou Magazine
                              Last edited by Surfingfarmboy; June 1, 2007, 03:21 PM.

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