'Opihi have long been considered an essential part of a Hawaiian luau—'opihi pickers risk their lives to collect these prized delicacies and are sometimes swept out to sea. However, overharvesting has made this native shellfish harder and harder to find. To better understand how we can conserve our 'opihi populations for future generations, scientists have been working hard at learning about the 'opihi's life cycle, and enlisting the vital help of local communities to develop plans that will ensure that our coastlines are preserved for future generations.
There are three species of 'opihi. 'Opihi Makaiauli (blackfoot 'opihi) is found in clinging tightly to rocks in the splash zone, and can tolerate being exposed to the sun during low tides. 'Opihi 'ālinalina (yellowfoot ʻopihi) have shells with jagged edges that were used by Hawaiians as scrapers for shredding coconut meat. These need moisture, and are found in the most dangerous tidal zones where there is constant wave action. ʻOpihi kōʻele (giant or kneecap ʻopihi) is found submerged in water, and can grow up to four inches across.
PRINT AND FOLD IKI, THE LITTLEST ʻOPIHI ORIGAMI
Print Iki, the Littlest ʻOpihi origami. Cut out image along outer solid lines.
3. Turn over, so that the printed side is facing DOWN.
4. Fold along diagonal line as shown. UNFOLD.
Iki, The Littlest 'Opihi
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Windword Books 2013
'Opihi are shellfish that live clinging to the rocky shores in Hawaii. But Iki, the littlest 'opihi, seeks adventure in the open ocean. Will he ever join the other 'opihi and learn to "stick to it"?
©2013 Tammy Yee