What is the Taʻape?
Bluestripe Snapper (Lutjanus kasmira)
Instructions for augmented reality (AR):
- Desktop – click and drag the ta'ape fish and zoom in and out
- Mobile – launch the full AR experience by clicking on the square icon and following the prompts to scan your room's floor
Taʻape: a local and sustainable food source
The bluestripe snapper, or taʻape, is a striking tropical fish, easily identified by its electric-blue stripes and lemon-yellow skin.
Don’t let its good looks fool you, though: While the species ranges from the Indian Ocean to parts of the Pacific, in Hawaiʻi, the taʻape are an invasive species, competing with native fish and causing economic losses for local fishers.
The Hawaiian Islands, the world’s most isolated archipelago, are highly susceptible to invasive species, which can harm habitats critical for Hawaiʻi’s fisheries. Non-native species introduced to Hawaiʻi —whether by accident or intentionally — cost the state tens of millions of dollars a year.
Yet harvesting taʻape also offers an opportunity to improve food security, the local economy, and ecosystem health.
How Taʻape came to Hawaiʻi
The taʻape was among several species that were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands from the South Pacific more than six decades ago, originally intended to provide additional fishing opportunities and food sources for Hawaiʻi. Unfortunately, taʻape quickly became established and now is found across the 1,500-mile archipelago.
But wait: They are also tasty
It turns out that the ta’ape is also delicious. This snapper has white, delicate and mild meat and can be fried whole, grilled, steamed, or made into ceviche.
With that in mind, Conservation International's Hawaiʻi program is working to promote this fish throughout the seafood supply chain. Together with partners at Chef Hui, Pili Group and Under My Umbrella, and working with commercial fishers, we’re developing new ways to bring taʻape to communities across Hawaiʻi. Through this movement, we are helping local fishers, businesses and chefs contribute to a more sustainable food system in Hawaiʻi. Consumers are seeing that they can eat a tasty meal while supporting the local economy, improving island food security, and helping to reduce an invasive species.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Every pound of taʻape you buy supports Hawaiʻi’s sustainable seafood industry and the fishing communities that rely on it. Learn more about this delicious species — and how adapting your diet to what’s available, in season, and abundant is an important step in eating sustainably. Your kōkua (“help”) will ensure that our ocean continues to provide food and more for generations to come.
If you’re up for a challenge, play our latest Instagram game, “Eat All The Taʻape” (available on mobile devices).
Where to find taʻape in Hawaiʻi:
- Local Iʻa (Oʻahu)
- Tamashiro Market (Oʻahu)
- Chinatown Markets (Oʻahu)
- Rainbow Market (Oʻahu)
- Seafood City (Oʻahu)
- Suisan Fish Market (Hawaiʻi Island)
If your business sells taʻape and would like to be added to the list, please contact Jhana Young, Sustainable Fisheries Program Coordinator, via our contact form.
Taʻape: A Golden Opportunity
with Kimi Werner and Chef Mark Noguchi
Join Kimi as she brings along her dear friend Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi on a dive to show him how a simple act of putting the plentiful and invasive taʻape on the menu can be a positive win for our environment, economy, and our community. Later, he shows Kimi how to make his Peruvian style ceviche and a smoked taʻape dip. With the help of our nonprofit friends at Conservation International Hawaiʻi and Chef Hui, many of our favorite local chefs are starting to put taʻape on their menus. Mahalo to all the chefs, restaurants, fishers and organizers joining this sustainable seafood movement! Peruvian style ceviche recipe: Ingredients: Taʻape ~3 lbs. to make 1 lb. of finished meat Garlic 6 cloves Green chili peppers 2-3 pieces Cucumber 1 piece, deseeded and diced or bias cut Red Onion ½ piece, sliced paper thin Cherry tomatoes 1 cup, diced Oranges, whole 2 pieces, juiced Limes whole 5 piece, juiced Jalapeño peppers 1 piece, deseeded and diced Serrano peppers 2 pieces deseeded and diced Peruvian corn 2 cups, toasted Salt and Pepper to taste In a Japanese mortar and pestle (Suribachi), grind garlic with a good dose of salt, and lime juice. *NOTE: Grinding or pureeing garlic prevents the harsh enzymes from releasing into the air. It makes a mellower taste. Directions: Scale, gut, and cut into boneless skinless fillets Dice into small cubes making sure to remove any pin bones Use mortar and pestle (suribachi) to pound garlic into fine consistency Spoon orange juice and lime juice into the garlic ****See above Combine ingredients together Put in refrigerator and let sit for about 20 minutes Serve cold and enjoy! Smoked Taʻape dip: Ingredients: Taʻape ~3 lbs. Pickled onions ½ cup Green onions ½ cup Red onions ½ piece minced Cucumbers 1 piece deseeded and diced Mayonnaise ~½ cup Greek yogurt ~½ cup Hot sauce to taste Soda crackers 16 pieces (2 packages) Directions: Scale, gut, and fillet Taʻape with the skin on Season the fillets with salt and pepper Place fillets in a single layer on a pan Place the pan in smoker and smoke on low until cooked, approx 15-20 minutes Note: The Traeger smoker took about 20 minutes Take ta’ape out of the smoker. Use your hands to pull apart taʻape meat in a bowl. Be sure to take any remaining pin bones out. Combine mayonnaise, greek yogurt, salt, hot sauce, green onions, toasted peruvian corn and a squeeze of lime. Thoroughly mix ingredients together and serve on a soda cracker. Pro Tip: Place any fish guts and remaining parts in your compost bin to reduce food waste! To learn more about Taʻape and the people behind this sustainable seafood movement, visit https://www.conservation.org/places/hawaii https://www.chefhui.com/ a Variables production Executive Producer: Jhana Young Field Producer: Justin Turkowski, Lexi Kaili camera: Justin Turkowski edit: Lexi Kaili, Shane Grimes Follow Kimi on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimi_swimmy...
Learn How To Cook Taʻape
with Chef Kristene “Banchan” Moon & Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi
Join us for a live cooking demonstration with Executive Sous Chef of The Pig & The Lady Kristene Moon, hosted by chef Mark "Gooch" Noguchi. In honor of celebrating Seafood Month this October, Chef Hui and Conservation International Hawaiʻi want to invite you and your ʻohana to cook up some ʻono local snappers with us! In this entertaining and educational demo, Chef Kristene Moon will show you how to cook with one of Hawaiʻi's most abundant resources: Taʻape! The Menu: Pan friend Taʻape: Ta'ape lightly dredged and pan fried, Banchan's dad's fermented garlic sauce, lemon Whole Taʻape: Wet cured Ta'ape, Pig & The Lady Nuoc Cham, lemon