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EFSA - European Federation Of Sea Anglers

Mackerel (Scomber Scombrus) Record

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MACKEREL / SCOMBER SCOMBRUS
2 4 1.50 3.5 Oresund Denmark 160885 J. Sorensen
4 8 1.48 3.1 Coaling Is Gibraltar 241094 J. Chappory
6 12 1.05 2.5 Loch Long Scotland 070691 J. Aitken
*AT AT 2.79 6.2 Penbirth Cove England 84 W. Chapple
*SH SH 2.60 5.11 Brixham England 82 M. Kemp

The Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber Scombrus)

is a beautifully streamlined, fast-swimming fish. It has silver underparts and metallic green and blue upperparts with irregular bands along the back. The atlantic mackerel has two well separated dorsal fins with 5 dorsal and anal finlets. Two keel like fins are also present on the undeside of the fish.

Mackerel winter in deep water (approximately 300m) but return to the shallows around the coast in May-June to spawn. The fish will then spawn, the resulting eggs released into the sea in great numbers, up to 90,000 per spawning. The eggs are between 1 and 1.4mm in size planktonic. They consist of an unsegmented yolk surrounded by a greeny-black pigmented oil globule. Hatching occurs after 2-6 days. The juvenile fish stay offshore for about 2 years until they are sexually mature. At this time they join the great shoals of mackerel that form at spawning time.

Mackerel Scomber ScombrusThe shoals of mackerel that form at this time consist of hundreds of fish. Larger shoals have been estimated in the thousands. The shoals are constantly on the move, as the mackerel must keep moving. The mackerel has no swimbladder and uses a passive gill ventilation form of breathing. The fish swim mouth open and the gill chambers expanded, thus water flows through the gills. (Ramjet effect) This saves engery which is used by other fish to pump water through the gills when the mouth closes. Therefore it must move to live, if the fish is not swimming it will drown. The fish also are on the move after it's prey, they feed in the summer where there will be currents, thus around headlands, breakwaters, piers and beaches that experience a strong tidal flow.

 
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