Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber Scombrus)

Latin name: Scomber scombrus
Common name: Atlantic mackerel
In other languages: E: Caballa del Atla¡ntico, F: Maquereau Commun, D: Makrele
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Scombridae
Genus: Scomber

Life Span: An estimated 20 years

Distribution: Mediterranean, Atlantic, North Sea, West Baltic and English Channel.

Habitat: Open water close to the surface.

Reproduction: Planctonic eggs, sexually mature at 2 years.

Behaviour: A pelagic fish that lives in large shoals. They follow a migratory pattern: From late spring to autumn they come inshore where they are very active feeders. During calm weather they can be attracted by bright lights at night and are taken on multi-hooked long lines.

Diet: Crustaceans and small fish.

Size: Common: 20 - 30cm, maximum: 50cm.

Shape: Longish, rounded body, tapering towards tail.

Enemies: Humans, predators - within the sea of Alboran dolphins have been seen herding mackerel close to the surface and holding them there while members of the dolphin 'pack' individually feed from the captive held shoal.

Did you know: A sky which is mottled by separated roundish white clouds is sometimes called a 'mackerel sky' as it resembles the markings of a mackerel.