Sea Life

Atlantic Mackerel Facts & Information Guide

In the Atlantic Ocean, there lives a member of the Mackerel family – the Atlantic Mackerel. These species are not only native to the Atlantic habitat instead they have a wide range of distribution. They are named on the basis of their existence in the Atlantic waters. Other than that, they are commonly known as Boston mackerel, Scottish mackerel, or Norwegian mackerel. Scroll down to learn more about the survival strategies and knowledgeable facts about the Atlantic Mackerel.

What Is The Scientific Classification Of Atlantic Mackerel?

Scientifically the Atlantic Mackerel is named Scomber scombrus, which belongs to a:

Phylum:  Chordata

Class:       Actinopterygii

Order:  Scombriformes

Family:  Scombridae

Genus:  Scomber

What Is The Geological Distribution Of Atlantic Mackerel?

Geographically, the Atlantic Mackerel is a common species of Northern and Eastern Atlantic waters. They are epipelagic species that prefer temperate and cold waters and usually thrive at the depth of 70 to 210 meters. The suitable water temperature for Atlantic Mackerel is approximately 8o C but seasonally they exhibit migratory behavior and travel a long distance to find a suitable habitat.

Habitat of Atlantic Mackerel

What Do The Atlantic Mackerel Look Like?                   

They have the unique coloration of bluish-greenish from the upper side of the body and are shiny silvery from the underside of the belly. They have a slender but fusiform body with 23 to 33 wavy frills on the top of the body. They have pointed snouts, large eyes, small teeth, pectoral fins covered with small spines, two large-sized dorsal fins, and one pair of anal fins which help them to swim at the top speed making them the active and fast swimmers of the extended ocean. The Atlantic Mackerel has a length ranging from 12 to 24 inches or 30 to 60 cm whereas they are about 7.5 pounds or 3.4 kg heavy.

Physical Appearance of Atlantic Mackerel

What Do The Atlantic Mackerel Feeds On?

As filter feeders, the Atlantic Mackerel feeds on the following items:

  • Fish larvae
  • Small fishes
  • Young herring
  • Cephalopods
  • Shrimps
  • Crabs
  • Ascidians
  • Mackerels
Diet of Atlantic Mackerel

What Is The Reproductive Mode Of The Atlantic Mackerel?

The Atlantic Mackerel are oviparous species which means that the fertilization of eggs takes place internally and female Mackerels give birth to young after the completion of a gestation period of just 2 to 8 days depending upon the environmental conditions such as water temperature. The female Mackerel gives birth to young pups which become sexually mature after 4 years and can live for 15 to 18 years.

Does Atlantic Mackerel Have Any Predators?

Yes! The Atlantic Mackerel can be preyed upon by:

  • Whales
  • Sharks
  • Seals
  • Tuna
  • Sea lions
  • Gannets
  • Squids and cod (eats the young pups)
Predators of Atlantic Mackerel

What Is The Conservational Status Of Atlantic Mackerel?

Well, the population of the Atlantic Mackerel is not facing any danger of being extinct due to human activities which is why they are listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN. However, these species have now been gaining popularity among fisheries for commercial purposes.

What Are The Interesting Fact About The Atlantic Mackerel?

There is much more about the Atlantic Mackerel which needs to be explored. So here is a list of some unknown facts about Atlantic Mackerel: 

1:  They are also found in Iceland, the Mediterranean Sea, and Baltic Seas.

2:  They are diurnal species that hunt both in the daytime as well as in night hours but they are more active in the daytime.

3:  They are not solitary species, they often travel in a school.

4:  As they are migratory species, they can travel a long distance of 20 miles each day.

5:  Their fusiform body allows them to make sudden turns while swimming

6:  The pectoral fins of the Atlantic Mackerel are grey or dusky from the tip – making it relatively easy to distinguish them from other members.

7:  The meat of the Atlantic Mackerel is red but is highly nutritious as it contains omega-3 fatty acids.

8:  The female Atlantic Mackerel can release more than 2 million eggs in a single breeding season but only a few of them will survive.

9:  Some specimens of Atlantic Mackerel are known to live for 20 years.

10:  Due to overfishing, the species’ population may disappear from the ocean waters in the upcoming years.

Final Words

The Atlantic Mackerel is a member of the Mackerel family which is commonly sighted in the Atlantic Ocean waters. However, they also have a wide range in distribution over the globe. Physically, they have a slender body that is bluish-greenish from the upper side and shiny silvery from the lower side of the body. These oviparous species feeds on a variety of dietary item. Despite being Least Concerned in the Redlist of IUCN, their population may continue to decline in the coming years because of the predatory threats they face under the water.

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am lettin people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.