I guess the primary reason why I came was to participate in a special luncheon sponsored by Neil, President/co-founder of Kona Blue, and he featured his Kona Kampachi. Also known as Kahala, Amberjack, Yellow Tail (not yellow-fin, which is a tuna), Hamachi and Buri (a larger hamachi). Two great reasons to tout this product: Neil has eliminated Ciguateria found in natural varieties and the flesh is high in Omega-3 fish oils. Most importantly, it tasted great. The chef was Kelly Coleman, his VP of Marketing, who prepared this delicacy sashimi and fried (broiled?), with a major salad, rice and refreshment provided by Guy (later about him). Neil shared an anecdote about my recruiting him to Hawaii 20 years ago over a bottle of Wolf Blass Black Cabernet/Shiraz in Sydney. True, although it couldn't have been that long ago. Best to Kate, Neil.
In attendance were three chef/fish dealers/marketers, Guy, Kelly and Tetsuzan Benny Ron, who is the new aquaculture program coordinator for the University of Hawaii. Benny will make a difference. Uday Huja of MGM Grand also seems to have considerable clout. I did not realize they controlled 40,000 rooms in Las Vegas.
Guy Toyama, is director of the Friends of NELHA, owner of H2 Technologies and producer of Kona Pure (Hawaiian salt), I think with MERA. He also is involved with the next possible deep ocean water operations.
Okay, I was surprised, maybe even shocked, about three things today:
1. At TroutLodge, I learned that butterfish is the Black Cod, also known as the Sable Fish:
I kind of thought that it was more a process. Well, actually, I was not absolutely totally wrong, as in Japan a butterfish is a wart perch and in American it is a skipjack (and a bunch of other fish), only RELATED to the BLACK COD. Click on definition. Benny, Jackie Zimmerman and Guy at the TroutLodge facility, which is growing moi and black cod.
2. The Sea Urchin we eat on sushi is not the body. We only consume the gonads. Both males and females have them. Benny explained to me how to differentiate which sex, but you don't need to know. Reminds me of my fugu testicles experience, but you can read about that in Chapter 4 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth.
3. Many fish are hermaphrodites, that is, can take on either sex. Thus, if you have two male flameangels (see below), one of them becomes female during the mating season. Syd Kraul of Pacific Planktonics is focusing on this fish and the yellow tang. Makes sense, because a Kona Kampachi can sell for $10/pound or more, but these ornamental fish can be many hundreds (in fact, thousands) of dollars per pound. Guy, Benny and Syd, fashionably dressed for our visit, pose.
The flameangel and yellow tang:
The recent legislative action about NELHA now reporting to the Department of Accounting and General Services instead of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism also adds an element of uncertainty, but might actually be a reason for optimism. The Board of NELHA when I served had a majority of Big Island representation, but, now, the companies run the management. No signs, apparently, about using any of the deep ocean cold water for an OTEC facility.
The Dow Jones slipped 53 to 8422 and world markets were mostly down. Gold jumped $12/toz to $937 and crude oil continued to rise, now up way past $60/barrel (see right).