Oceanic Institute of HPU continues groundbreaking work to culture yellow tang

November 07, 2014

Oceanic Institute leads yellow tang research
(Emma Forbes photo)

HONOLULU — The Oceanic Institute of Hawai‘i Pacific University reached a milestone this year in rearing and feeding yellow tang, raising fish longer than previous researchers.

"We were able to keep the fish alive to day 83, which is unprecedented,” said OI-HPU research scientist Catham K. Callan, Ph.D. “We have been able to build upon our past work to get to his benchmark but this success also indicates the challenges we are still facing.”

Callan — with Finfish Program researchers Emma C. Forbes, M. Dean Kline, Shelby E. Allen and David J. Hoy — recently published their findings in the November/December 2014 issue of Global Aquaculture Advocate. Their work is significant because of the popularity of yellow tang and what that means to Hawaii’s coral reef system.

“Yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavscens) make up more than 80% of the local aquarium fishery, with hundreds of thousands harvested annually to satisfy an ever-growing aquarium market,” state the authors.

In order to reduce pressure on the reef system OI-HPU scientists have worked more than a decade to find methods to culture yellow tang, which has been a challenging fish to work with.

“We have not yet attained our goal of settling the juveniles, but we are close," said Callan.

Read the article in Global Aquaculture Advocate online at Contact Callan at (808) 259-3149 or