By TARA GODVIN, Associated Press Writer
HONOLULU - Everyone thought the humuhumunukunukuapuaa was Hawaii's state fish. As it turns out, the brightly colored fish with the excessively long name has been dethroned...
The stubby-nosed, brightly striped and slightly aggressive little fish whose name few tourists even try to utter (it's pronounced HOO-moo-HOO-moo-NOO-koo-NOO-koo-AH-poo-AH-ah) is commonly believed to be the state's favorite. The fish figures into tourist trinkets, broadcast commercials and a much-beloved song about a little grass shack.
Much like its name, the fish's road to titlelessness is long and confusing.
In 1984 the state Legislature asked the University of Hawaii and the Waikiki Aquarium to survey the public and come up with a candidate for the state fish. The humuhumu was swept into the spot in part through the support of school children who learned of the campaign through classroom projects.
Although the issue of the state fish would seem to come with little controversy, the method used to poll the public was questioned and lawmakers limited the designation to five years.
No one told the public that the humuhumu's reign was over, so few knew anything had changed.