Hawaii State Fish

May 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Facts about Hawaii

hawaii state fishThe odd shape of the Hawaiian state fish is cause for the name of the Hawaiian rectangular fish or the Hawaiian trigger fish. The fish is identifiable through its colorful markings of white, yellow, black and light blue. Through the silver color of the fish there is a dark stripe which can be seen through the sides and through the belly of the fish.

Interestingly enough, the fish was declared the state fish through the seventies and eighties but in the nineteen nineties the law had run out of time and therefore, officially, the triggerfish was not the state fish of Hawaii for more than sixteen years – until the official reinstatement of the reef triggerfish of the humuhumunukunukupua in the year 2006.

Known as the humuhumunukunukupua the fish has been called this name because it literally translates into “fish with a pig’s nose” in Hawaiian. For short, the fish is called humuhumu by the natives of the island that are familiar with the fish.

Do people commonly sport fish for this type of fish in the area of Hawaii, although it has become known as the state fish? People in the past have indeed fished for the humuhumu through a variety of times and therefore the species has been under a threat of human hunting and consumption through a variety of times. However, this behavior has been significantly reduced, leaving the population of the state fish to flourish among the coral reefs on the island.

Humans aren’t the only enemy that the state fish has had to face. Nearly ten years ago there was a disease which had been discovered through the island which put the fish species under duress and had the ability to reduce the population which was found in the island. This disease within the water had been caught under control however, and the population was saved.

Although there are many other locations within the world where the fish can be found, it has been the state fish of Hawaii for years.

What is commonly included in the Hawaiian trigger fish’s diet? The diet includes seaweed which is present throughout the coral reef and can also include various fish and other small animals that lack vertebrae that can be found within close proximity to the coral reef. The mother stays close to the reef while she is protecting the nest of fish as there are many predators which can be found lurking near the coral reef.

The species have been known to grow upwards of eighteen inches long and sometimes even longer. Depending on the environment in which the fish is found, this can determine the size.

The fish can be commonly seen through the Big Island of Hawaii and by snorkelers that frequent the vast coral reefs on the islands. Through these island reefs, the coral reef dwelling fish eat seaweed as well as bottom dwellers which are located through the various islands.

Interestingly enough, the fish sleeps on its side and appears flat through the night. This is an interesting fish as this is one of the very few species that acts this way and exhibits this type of behavior. There is also one more unique feature that can distinguish the triggerfish from other species – it has blue teeth!


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