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Finfish

Finfish
Opah

Residing in most temperate and subtropical seas, opah grow to over five feet in length with a deep body and can weigh over 200 pounds.  Opah have beautiful coloration: the body is a steely blue grading to rosy on the belly, with white spots covering the flanks.  Both the median and paired fins are a bright vermillion, contrasting strongly with the body.  The large eyes stand out as well, ringed with golden yellow.  The body is covered in minute scales and its silvery, iridescent coating is fragile.  They are presumed to live out their entire lives in the open ocean, at depths of 50–500 meters.  They are apparently solitary but are known to school with tuna and billfish.  Opah propel themselves by flapping their pectoral fins.  This, together with their forked caudal fins and depressible median fins, indicates that opah, like tuna, maintain themselves at constantly high speeds.  Squid and krill make up the bulk of their diet; primary predators of opah are Mako and Great White sharks.  The Opah’s meat ranges from pink to orange, is moderate flavored, meaty, rich, firm textured, and fatty.  Cooking methods include broiling, smoking and the darkest meat from the Opah is served as sashimi.  Increasingly harvested on longline, but sometimes caught as bycatch on longlines by tuna fishermen.


 

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