Atlantic Mackerel


The Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a common ⁤pelagic fish species ​belonging to ⁤the Scombridae ⁢family,⁤ which includes other​ popular varieties such as tuna and bonito. This species ‍has a slim and streamlined body, ideal for fast swimming.

Conservation Status

Presently, ⁤the ​Atlantic ⁤Mackerel ⁣is listed as Least Concern (LC)‌ on ‍the International Union for Conservation of Nature ⁤(IUCN) Red List. This reprieve is due to the considerable population and wide distribution range of the‍ species. However, there’s ongoing monitoring due to the significant pressure from commercial fishing.


Length Weight Average Lifespan
Average: 30 cm, Range: 20 – 60‍ cm Average: 0.5 kg, Range: 0.2 – 1.8 kg 20 years


Atlantic Mackerel is ⁣commonly found⁣ in‌ both the eastern and western Atlantic Ocean, in regions extending from Norway to‌ Morocco in the east and from Labrador to North⁤ Carolina in the west. They are great migrators and typically embark on‌ long seasonal journeys.


Atlantic ⁢Mackerel favor​ saltwater habitats and they primarily dwell in shallow waters at a depth range ⁣of 10 to 200 ​meters. They are not particularly temperature-sensitive and can be found in waters ranging from -1.5 to 27°C.

When and Where to See

Atlantic Mackerels surface ​during their spring and fall migration, making May through June and September through October⁢ the best times to spot them. They are mainly nocturnal feeders and can‌ often be seen during early mornings or late evenings.

Best Fishing Locations

Based on abundance and accessibility, here are the top⁢ ten locations ⁤to fish‍ for ‌Atlantic Mackerel:

  • Norwegian Sea, ‍Norway
  • The Celtic Sea, United Kingdom
  • Bay of Biscay, France
  • North Sea, Denmark
  • Baie de Granville, France
  • Atlantic Large Marine Ecosystem, Iceland
  • Gulf of Maine, United States
  • Georges Bank, United States
  • Southern Grand Banks, Canada
  • Northwest Atlantic, Canada

How to Catch

The‍ most effective lures for Atlantic ⁤Mackerel are shiny mackerel spoons or feathered jigs. They’re receptive to both trolling and spinning techniques. Peak fishing times are early⁢ morning and late evening⁢ during their migration periods.

Identification Guide

Atlantic Mackerel are easily identifiable by their slim, torpedo-shaped bodies with greenish-blue backs fading to a silvery white ⁣belly. They have distinct wave-like black bands located laterally.

Culinary Profile

Atlantic⁤ Mackerel​ is a top choice for grilling and smoking due its robust flavor and high⁢ oil content. It’s highly valued for its rich nutrients, ⁣particularly Omega-3 fatty acids. Popular mackerel recipes‍ include ‌grilled‌ mackerel with lemon and parsley, smoked mackerel pate, and ​mackerel sushi.

Additional Information

Feeding​ mainly on small fish and squid, Atlantic‌ Mackerel are known for their schooling behavior. Their primary predators⁤ are larger pelagic species such as tuna and marlin, as well ‍as sharks. Sea birds and ⁢marine mammals⁣ also⁤ prey on ‍them.

References and Further Reading