Atlantic mackerel

Atlantic Mackerel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Scombridae
Tribe: Scombrini
Genus: Scomber
Species: S. scombrus
Binomial name
Scomber scombrus
Linnaeus, 1758

The Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a pelagic schooling species of mackerel found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. The species is also called Boston mackerel, Norwegian mackerel, Scottish mackerel, or just mackerel.

The Atlantic mackerel is by far the most common of the 10 species of the family caught in British waters. It is extremely common in huge shoals migrating towards the coast to feed on small fish and prawns during the summer.

Abundant in cold and temperate shelf areas, it 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 (52 and 57 °F).

It is found in the north-east Atlantic: North Sea (east) and British Isles (west). The North Sea stock decreased dramatically in the 1960s because of direct overfishing.

Male and female Atlantic mackerel grow at about the same rate, reaching a maximum age of about 20 years and a maximum fork length around 47 cm (19 in). Most Atlantic mackerel are sexually mature by the age of three years.


Capture of Atlantic mackerel in tonnes from 1950 to 2013

As food

Atlantic mackerel, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 858 kJ (205 kcal)
0 g
14 g
19 g
Vitamin A equiv.

50 μg


65 mg

Vitamin D

643 IU


12 mg


1.63 mg


76 mg


217 mg


314 mg


0.63 mg

Other constituents
Water 64 g
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Atlantic mackerel are sought after for food either cooked or as sashimi and consist mostly of red meat with a strong taste desirable to some consumers. The fish is extremely high in vitamin B12 as well as omega 3 (a class of fatty acids) and contains nearly twice as much of the latter per unit weight as salmon. Unlike the King and Spanish species, Northern Atlantic mackerel are very low in mercury, and can be eaten at least twice a week according to EPA guidelines.[2][3]

Mainly in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, canned mackerel in tomato sauce, brine, or vegetable oil is sometimes eaten with salad or in sandwiches.

Mackerel is an excellent source of phosphatidylserine, as it contains about 480 mg / 100 grams by weight. Phosphatidylserine is under investigation to mitigate symptoms of ADHD and Alzheimer's disease.

See also


External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/17/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.