Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus)
|Researched by||Morvan Barnes||Refereed by||Admin|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandWidely distributed in the continental shelf seas around the British Isles and Ireland, usually at depths of less than 200 m. Found in greater abundance on the shelf edges during winter.
HabitatAtlantic mackerel is a pelagic species that makes extensive migrations, and there are a variety of hydrographical features such as temperatures as well as the abundance and composition of zooplankton and other prey is likely to affect its distribution. Scomber scombrus can be extremely common and found in huge shoals feeding on small fish and prawns.
- Fast, streamline, fish usually found in dense shoals.
- At full length Atlantic mackerel may reach over 60 cm in length and 3.4 kg in weight.
- Strong dark markings on the back which are oblique to near straight in orientation.
- Unmarked belly, silver to metallic blue in colour.
Shoals up to 9 km long, 4 km wide and extending 40 m deep have been reported. This species is a highly commercial species for trawlers but is also targeted by anglers and sport fishers (Lockwood, 1988).
A similar species, the Scomber japonicus, is also found in the English Channel during the summer. The species are distinguished by five small finlets between the second dorsal and tail fin, and between the anal fin and the tail of Scomber japonicus (Knijn et al., 1993).
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Last Updated: 27/03/2008