Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of pelagic fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas, mostly living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment.

Mackerel typically have vertical stripes on their backs and deeply forked tails. Many species are restricted in their distribution ranges, and live in separate populations or fish stocks based on geography. Some stocks migrate in large schools along the coast to suitable spawning grounds, where they spawn in fairly shallow waters. After spawning they return the way they came, in smaller schools, to suitable feeding grounds often near an area of upwelling. From there they may move offshore into deeper waters and spend the winter in relative inactivity. Other stocks migrate across oceans.

Smaller mackerel are forage fish for larger predators, including larger mackerel. Flocks of seabirds, as well as whales, dolphins, sharks and schools of larger fish such as tuna and marlin follow mackerel schools and attack them in sophisticated and cooperative ways. Mackerel is high in omega-3 oils and is intensively harvested by humans. In 2009, over five millions tonnes were landed by commercial fishermen (see graph on the right). Sport fisherman value the fighting abilities of the king mackerel.

Read more about Mackerel:  Species, Characteristics, Distribution, Life Cycle, Fisheries, Management, As Food, Miscellany

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Mackerel Scad - Distribution and Habitat
... The mackerel scad's range covers most of the world's oceans ... In the eastern Atlantic, mackerel scad have been found off St ... In the Indian ocean, mackerel scad have been found in the Red sea and the Gulf of Aden they are also known from South Africa, the Mascarenes, the Seychelles, and Sri Lanka ...
Snake Mackerel
... The snake mackerel, Gempylus serpens, is a species of fish in the monotypic genus Gempylus, belonging to the family Gempylidae (which is also referred to generally as "snake mackerels") ... Populations of the snake mackerel from the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific differ in vertebral count (51-55 versus 48-50) and number of first dorsal fin spines (30-32 ...
Snake Mackerel - Human Interaction
... The snake mackerel is caught as bycatch in the tuna longline fishery and is of minor commercial importance ... A snake mackerel was inadvertently caught during the voyage of the Kon-Tiki in 1947 and again during the expedition of the Tangaroa which retraced the route of the Kon-Tiki between the coast of Peru and the Polynesian ... At the time of the Kon-Tiki voyage, the snake mackerel had never been known to have been caught ...
Mackerel - Miscellany
... States federal prisons had developed a custom of using packages of mackerel (typically packed in pouches) as a form of currency for bartering between inmates ...
Mackerel Scad
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Famous quotes containing the word mackerel:

    Three miles long and two streets wide, the town curls around the bay ... a gaudy run with Mediterranean splashes of color, crowded steep-pitched roofs, fishing piers and fishing boats whose stench of mackerel and gasoline is as aphrodisiac to the sensuous nose as the clean bar-whisky smell of a nightclub where call girls congregate.
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923)

    A village seems thus, where its able-bodied men are all plowing the ocean together, as a common field. In North Truro the women and girls may sit at their doors, and see where their husbands and brothers are harvesting their mackerel fifteen or twenty miles off, on the sea, with hundreds of white harvest wagons, just as in the country the farmers’ wives sometimes see their husbands working in a distant hillside field. But the sound of no dinner-horn can reach the fisher’s ear.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)