Hawaiian Nairagi (Striped Marlin)
Hawaiian: Nairagi, A‘u
Common: Striped Marlin
Scientific: Tetrapturus audax
General Info: Hawaiian Nairagi
Nairagi, also known as Hawaiian striped marlin is one of two species of marlin that we catch/offer to our customers. While not as robust in size as blue marlin (kajiki), striped marlin is an extremely vibrant and colorful fish. Nairagi has firm texture, mild flavor, and can be enjoyed in both raw and cooked preparations. Nairagi flesh color can be a light pink to a deep orange depending on a variety of factors. The more orange the meat is, the fattier it tends to be and is especially sought after for raw applications like sashimi and tataki (crusted seared). We typically catch nairagi in the 40 to 100 lb range and are fortunate to have them available just about year round.
Front of House Info:
Line-caught Hawaiian striped marlin.
Mild flavor profile, firm texture.
Most delicate flavor of all the Hawaiian billfish species.
Marlin species like Nairagi can only be landed commercially in Hawaii under strict regulatory oversight.
Back of House Info:
Depending on the grade, fat/oil content, nairagi loin can be light pink to deep orange-red in color.
Deeper pink to orange nairagi is often preferred for raw applications. True orange nairagi is relatively rare.
Nairagi has a good shelf life compared to tunas and makes for a great catch-of-the-day special.
The difference between nairagi (striped marlin) and kajiki (blue marlin) can be like the difference between yellowfin and bigeye tuna in that to a less discerning pallate they are indestinguishable. This is especially true when cooked.
There are concerns about the stock status of striped marlin in the Pacific. While the Hawaii fishery is believed to be sustainable, concerns remain over the pressure of foreign fleets operating in the region. We have been working alongside scientists and managers for the last 2 years conducting satellite tagging studies to better understand and inform management of this iconic Hawaiian species. Because of the management measures in place to prevent overfishing in our fishery, Hawaiin nairagi is recognized as a NOAA FishWatch sustainable choice.