Big eye emperor

A pair of Big Eye Emperor fishBig Eye Emperor fish

It’s quite common to see this fish, usually in ones and twos, hanging almost stationary in the water, facing into the current or swells. Often they can be found hanging out in the same area for days in a row. Usually, when I approach, they drift away with minimal effort or noticeable movement. They’re quite large – up to two feet – and fun to see with their big eyes and dignified manner.

In my attempts to identify what I see in the water, I use John P. Hoover’s book The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes, Sea Turtles, Dolphins, Whales, and Seals. His website is