Mackerel (Atlantic)


The Atlantic Mackerel, scientifically known as ‌Scomber scombrus, is part of the Scombridae family. It is a fast-swimming, pelagic fish with‍ a​ streamlined​ body and snapping jaws, recognized by its distinct blue-green dorsal side and silver⁢ belly.

Conservation Status

The Atlantic‌ Mackerel is currently categorized as a‍ species ‍of “Least Concern”‍ on the conservation scale. However, existing ‍conservation efforts, ​such as size ⁤and bag⁣ limit regulations at‍ various locations worldwide, seek to maintain the population’s health and control overfishing.


Statistic Average Range
Length 30 cm 17 ​- ​45⁣ cm
Weight 0.5 kg 0.3 – 1.5 kg
Average ⁢Lifespan 17 years
Maturation⁢ Age 2-3 years


The⁣ Atlantic Mackerel is a ⁢migratory fish, distributed from the east coast of North America to the North Sea and The ​Baltic‌ Sea. They ⁤are known to ‌seasonally migrate in schools, moving north and close to shore in the⁣ summer and returning south and to deeper ⁤water‌ in ‍the​ winter.


This⁢ species dwells in temperate and subarctic waters, commonly found at around ⁤10-200 meters in⁤ depth range. They prefer water temperatures of 8-11 °C.

When and ⁢Where to‌ See

The Atlantic​ mackerel can be typically seen ​during the summer ‍months when they move closer to shore. The best ⁣time to see this species is generally during the early morning and late evening when​ they feed.

Best Fishing⁤ Locations

Top locations are scattered across the‌ Atlantic coasts, including:
1. Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
2. Chesapeake ⁢Bay, Maryland, USA
3. ⁢Reykjavik, Iceland
4. Galway Bay, Ireland
5. North Sea, UK and Norway
6.​ The Baltic Sea, Denmark and Poland
7. St. Lawrence River, Canada

To find Atlantic Mackerel,⁢ look for warm ⁤surface currents, which attract their prey and⁤ therefore, the mackerels themselves.

How to Catch

Atlantic Mackerel prefer small but fast-moving bait⁢ such ​as herring or spoons. They also ​respond well to fly fishing and trolling techniques. ⁢The prime ‌time to ⁣catch them is during‍ the early morning or late evening during summer and fall.

Identification Guide

Atlantic Mackerel have a fusiform body shape which ‍is blue-green on the dorsal side and silver ⁣on the belly, and distinguishable “mackerel” markings of⁢ wavy black‌ lines. It can be‌ easily confused with King Mackerel, but⁣ a close look ⁢at the lateral line (curved in King, relatively straight in Atlantic)⁣ can help in the ⁢identification.


Atlantic ‌Mackerel is a tasty, oily fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It​ can be grilled, baked, smoked, or fried and served ⁣with a variety of sauces. There are a multitude of recipes⁢ available for preparation, including the popular dish ⁤”Mackerel in​ Tomato Sauce”. Nutritional information includes 21 g ‌of protein, and ‍13.2 g of fat per⁣ 100 g of ⁣fish.

Additional Information

Atlantic⁢ Mackerel are opportunistic ‍feeders, eating a diet primarily of​ smaller fishes and invertebrates. Mating occurs once a year, usually in summer, following complex courtship rituals. Their biggest threats include predatory⁣ fishes and sea birds, along with human-induced problems like overfishing and pollution. In some‌ cultures, they are considered a symbol of‌ harvest and prosperity.

References and Further Reading

  • FishBase – Atlantic Mackerel
  • FishingBase – Mackerel Atlantic