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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a may get its crown back

Associated Press

The fish with the name that's fun to say may be swimming back to its throne as Hawai'i's state fish.

Advertiser library photo

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The humuhumunukunukuapua'a officially lost its title as the state fish more than a decade ago but is set to reclaim the honor.

A bill reinstating the humuhumu passed the Legislature yesterday and heads next to the office of Gov. Linda Lingle for a signature.

The little fish with the long name was deposed in 1990 by a clause in the law that had given it its crown. The clause made the measure expire after five years.

But few in the Islands were aware of the change. The fish, also known as the rectangular triggerfish or humuhumu for short, has continued to be touted as Hawai'i's state fish.

The measure is credited by its introducer, Rep. Blake Oshiro, to the 6-year-old son of a constituent, Joel Itomura. It was Joel who brought the lack of an official designation for the humuhumu to the attention of Oshiro, D-33rd (Halawa, 'Aiea, Pearlridge).

Lingle has 10 days to veto the bill or sign it into law. If she takes no action, the bill would take effect without her signature.

In a letter last year to Chuck Johnston, who had asked that she give the fish back its position through executive order, Lingle said the question should be left to the public to decide. She also pointed out that historically, the bony critter was not held in high regard by Hawaiians.