Fact File:

Common Name(s):
Mackerel or Atlantic Mackerel

Scientific Name:
Scomber scombrus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Usual Size:
To 50cm although common to 30cm

UK Record Weights from rod/line:

Shore:5lb 11oz 14dr

Boat:6lb 2oz 7dr

MAFF Minimum Size: Shore:30cms Boat:30cms

Mackerel (Torpedo) Shaped. The back markings are black oblique to near vertical lines, with hardly any undulating and the belly area is unmarked. No swim bladder. 11/13 dorsal spines.

Egg dispersal. In the Eastern Atlantic spawning takes place from May to June off the Southern English coasts. The females are mature at 2/3 years old which equates to a size of approximately 34cm. Between 200/450,000 eggs are laid in each spawning season.

Most abundant in cold and temperate shelf waters. Over winter in deep waters and then migrate shoreward in the spring when the water temperatures reach between 11/14ºC. It would appear that our Eastern Atlantic population has no inter-mix with the Western Atlantic populations.

Cannibalistic, and small fry of numerous species

For the Eastern Atlantic from Iceland south to the north coast of Africa.

Additional Notes:

REFERENCES: FAO Species Catalogue 2 - Scombrids of The World - Collette/Nauen

Fishes of the North-Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean - Whitehead, Bauchot, Hureau, Nielsen, Tortonese

Key to the Fishes of Northern Europe - Wheeler

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