Photography by Jojie Alcantara
Taken early Christmas dawn in General Santos City, when fishermen caught this 74-kilo Moonfish, or Opah, a very expensive delicacy in countries like Hawaii. In the Philippines, it is called "Diana". I was told by the fishermen that it was a lucky day for me because it's not often (every 15 days or so only) that they have caught two "Dianas" in one day.
Opah or moonfish (Lampris regius) is one of the most colorful of the commercial fish species available in Hawaii. A silvery-grey upper body color shades to a rose red dotted with white spots toward the belly. Its fins are crimson, and its large eyes are encircled with gold. The moonfish's large, round profile may be the origin of its name. Moonfish landed in Hawaii range from 60 to over 200 pounds in round weight. A pelagic wandering species, it is often found in the company of tunas and billfish.
In Hawaii, the Opah was viewed as a good luck fish by old-time longline fishermen, who would give it away as a gesture of goodwill rather than sell it.
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