Hawaii February 03, 2017
There Is No Place In The World Quite Like This Famous Pier In Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands are home to approximately 750 miles of coastline, and the main islands are home to several fascinating wharfs, harbors, and piers, each with their own unique history and impact on the local economy. There is one pier, however, that you absolutely must visit while on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. Pier 38 not only has jaw-dropping and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and stellar restaurants, but it is home to the only fresh tuna auction in the United States.
The auction dates back centuries - to before Hawaii was even a state.
The auction was first started in 1952 by the United Fishing Agency in an attempt to cut out the wholesaler and allow the individual fishermen to sell their catch at a fair price. This also allows buyers representing retail, restaurant, and wholesale sectors to purchase the freshest fish available.
The days begin mighty early at the pier.
The process begins at 1 a.m., when the vessels are unloaded, and fish are inspected, weighed, tagged with the vessel name, displayed on pallets and kept clean and cold on the auction floor. The bidding begins at 5:30 a.m., and the auctioneer moves down the rows of fish surrounded by buyers trying to score the best fish for a good deal. It is said that up to 100,000 pounds of fish can be sold in one day. Some fish are sold locally, while others are flown to the neighboring islands and the U.S. mainland and even exported to Canada, Japan, and Europe.
Hawaiian tuna - and seafood in general - is often considered to be the "best in class" in terms of quality, safety and sustainability.
Nowhere will you learn more about Hawaiian fishing practices than by checking out a tour of this famous tuna auction.
Not only is the Honolulu Fish Auction the only fresh tuna auction in the United States, it is also the only fresh fish auction between Tokyo to the west and Maine to the east.
The only way to experience the auction without being a seafood buyer is to make a reservation for the weekly Saturday morning tour.
The tour is scheduled for 6 to 7:30 a.m., books out weeks in advance, and will cost $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 8 to 12.
The tour begins with a viewing of docked fishing vessels and a lesson in the harvesting and handling of tuna to preserve quality and safety, as well as information about daily life on a fishing boat.
Then, you’ll trace the path of the fish from the boat to auction floor, where you will learn about how the tuna is inspected, as well as the ins and outs of how a fish auction works.
If you’re not into seeing your fish before it is prepared, opt instead to explore the pier by daylight and enjoy a meal at Nico’s Pier 38, an eatery serving up only the freshest of seafood with gorgeous views of the harbor.
For more information about booking a tour to experience the Honolulu Fish Auction,
click here. We also think you’ll love these 16 oceanfront spots, as well as these 15 waterfront restaurants.