Oceanic Institute (OI) Yellow Tang Research Strides Are Important to Protecting Our Environment

Yellow tang

A recent unanimous vote by the Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) to reject an Environmental Impact Statement for proposed aquarium fishing in West Hawai‘i raises awareness of the work of the OI of HPU Finfish program team. Led by Chad Callan, Ph.D., director of the program and affiliate faculty, the OI team is breeding and culturing yellow tang in captivity. In 2015, Callan and the team had a research breakthrough, identifying the feed necessary to keep the yellow tang larvae alive until settlement. Today, OI of HPU’s Finfish program exports its cultured yellow tang to commercial partner Biota Aquariums (Florida), providing a solution to overfishing in Hawai‘i waters and ultimately being an agent of change to protect our coral reefs and ocean habitat. 

In the Civil Beat podcast, “Can Aquarium Fishing Be Sustainable?” (at @ 3:27) the head of a Maui-based nonprofit, For The Fishes, references the work of OI’s Finfish program saying, “Oceanic Institute had a breakthrough...breeding [yellow tang] in commercial numbers.” 

To read more on the BLNR’s decision, click here.