HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The average Hawaii family eats 24 pounds of poke each year, but most are unaware of where the fish comes from. A new report reveals, most of the fish in Hawaii's poke is not locally caught.
Kanu Hawaii, a non-profit group, surveyed five local seafood counters. At two stores, they could not find any poke with locally caught fish. A third store had one local offering, and the two other stores had some local choices, but the majority was imported.
Kanu Hawaii promotes buying and growing locally and says customers should be aware of where their food comes from.
"We're all a community. We're all in this together. We want to support the local fishermen and you know, put money into our local economy," said Kaleo Ten of Kanu Hawaii.
The group behind the survey says the best way to know if your poke is local is to look at its color. If your ahi or aku is bright red, it was likely treated with carbon monoxide, which is a preservative and is therefore probably not local. Brownish fish almost always means it is local, says Kanu Hawaii.
Another tip from the group: Just because it is labeled as "Hawaiian Style" doesn't mean the fish is local. The "Hawaiian Style" label only refers to the way it is prepared.