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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Atlantic Mackerel Scomber scombrus

The Atlantic mackerel is designed for fast swimming.

It has a torpedo-shaped, streamlined body, small dorsal fins, close-fitting gill covers, and small, smooth scales. In the summer, large shoals of Atlantic mackerel feed close inshore, voraciously preying on small fish and straining plankton with their gills. From March to June, they lay their floating eggs in habitual spawning areas, the eggs hatching after a few days.

In winter, Atlantic mackerel move into deeper water offshore and hardly feed. Several separate stocks exist within the north Atlantic, all of which are commercially exploited.

What Oceana Does to Protect Atlantic Mackerel

Oceana works to protect prey species such as Atlantic mackerel from overfishing. Act now to help us promote responsible fishing.

Atlantic Mackerelzoom image
  • Order Perciformes
  • Length Up to 24 in (60 cm)
  • Weight Up to 7 lb (3.5 kg)
  • Depth 0–650 ft (0–200 m)
  • Distribution Temperate waters of north Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Black Sea
Atlantic Mackerel habitat mapzoom image