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Scomber scombrus  Linnaeus, 1758

Atlantic mackerel
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Scomber scombrus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Scomber scombrus (Atlantic mackerel)
Scomber scombrus
Picture by Svensen, E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Scombridae (Mackerels, tunas, bonitos) > Scombrinae
Etymology: Scomber: Greek, skombros = tunny or mackerel, 1623 (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; brackish; pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 1000 m (Ref. 54254), usually 0 - 200 m (Ref. 54254).   Temperate; 70°N - 25°N, 77°W - 42°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 28.6, range 34 - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35388); common length : 30.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 168); max. published weight: 3.4 kg (Ref. 9988); max. reported age: 17 years (Ref. 207)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 8 - 14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 113; Anal spines: 1; Anal soft rays: 12 - 13; Vertebrae: 31. This species has the following characters: no well developed corselet; interpelvic process small and single; anal fin spine conspicuous, joined to the fin by a membrane but clearly independent of it; anal fin origin opposite that of second dorsal fin; no swim bladder; first haemal spine anterior to first interneural process; 21-28 interneural bones under first dorsal fin; markings on back oblique to near vertical, with relatively little undulating; belly unmarked (Ref. 168).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North Atlantic: inlcuding the Mediterranean.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Abundant in cold and temperate shelf areas, forms large schools near the surface. They overwinter in deeper waters but move closer to shore in spring when water temperatures range between 11° and 14°C. Mainly diurnal, it feeds on zooplankton and small fish. Eggs and larvae are pelagic (Ref. 6769). Batch spawner (Ref. 51846). The species is traded fresh, frozen, smoked and canned. Eaten fried, broiled and baked (Ref. 9988). Two stocks in north-east Atlantic: North Sea (east) and British Isles (west). North Sea stock decreased dramatically in the 1960's because of direct overfishing. Recruitment has been poor and unstable. After spawning, the adult feed very actively moving around in small shoals (Ref. 35388). The South-West Mackerel Handline (http://www.msc.org/html/content_488.htm) and Hastings Fleet Pelagic Fishery Mackerel, (http://www.msc.org/html/content_1215.htm) fisheries of this species have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (http://www.msc.org/) as well-managed and sustainable.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Collette, Bruce B. | Collaborators

Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen, 1983. FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: highly commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FIRMS (Stock assessments) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5625   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00724 (0.00620 - 0.00846), b=3.06 (3.01 - 3.11), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.7   ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (rm=0.33-0.56; K=0.23-0.27; tm=2-3; tmax=17; Fec=200,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (44 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.