Atlantic mackerel

Mackerel ( Scomber scombrus )

The mackerel ( Scomber scombrus ) is a living in coastal waters swarm fish. Mackerel are an average of 30 to 50 cm long and can be up to 17 years old. They eat plankton and fish fry of herring, cod or sprat. Mackerel are found in the coastal waters of North America, the North Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Breeding areas of North Sea mackerel are located in the Irish Sea and on the western edge of the Norwegian Trench.

Unlike most fish, the mackerel has no swim bladder, allowing it to quickly switch the one hand, non-pressurized water depth, on the other hand also to be constantly worrying by motion for buoyancy to keep from sinking.


The term was borrowed from Old French mackerel ( maquerel ) via Middle Dutch ( makereel ) to the Middle High German ( macrel ). The further derivation from Latin is controversial.

Fish stock

The mackerel is protected by small landing sizes and maximum catch quotas. Fishing zones and times were limited. Fishing season is from July to mid-February. Despite the possible selective fishing ( as mackerel occur in large flocks ) are overfished stocks and therefore are below the precautionary level. The stock is at a very low level since 1950.

When fishing for mackerel at there is little bycatch, this consists partly of small marine mammals. The seabed is not affected by the fishing gear. The mackerel is frequently beige offset by other fisheries. If it is thrown on the basis of catch limits overboard, there is only a minimal chance of survival.

Longline catches from south-west England are awarded the MSC eco-label for conservation-based fishery.


The mackerel is considered a good food fish, which is equally suitable for steaming, frying, grilling and smoking. The flesh is reddish, aromatic and has a high fat content of 12 percent. The mackerel can be relatively easily remove the bones. It is often offered as a whole or as fillets hot smoked, or canned in oil or tomato sauce than canned preserve. In parts of southern Germany and Austria it is also prepared as a so-called mackerel. Mackerel 2008 had a share of 1.4 percent in the German fish consumption.

Grilled mackerel ( gutted and grilled)

Smoked mackerel ( gutted and smoked) on a bed of salad

Pepper mackerel on bread ( mackerel fillets with peppercorns, smoked)

Mackerel fillets in tomato sauce ( canned fish )