Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus)
Atlantic mackerel are a silver-blue fish with black and shiny stripes down their back around the fin on their top side, or ‘dorsal surface’. They have a very streamlined, bullet-shaped, or ‘fusiform’ body with a tall, deeply-forked tail – which means they’re fast, efficient swimmers in open ocean.
They’re found in the north Atlantic including the Baltic Sea, in the eastern Atlantic including the Mediterranean, and in the western Atlantic from Labrador to Cape Lookout. They like cool and temperate waters to depths of 200m, especially above continental shelves.
They eat zooplankton and small fish, and can reach 3.4kg in weight. Atlantic mackerel spend the winter in deep waters, moving towards the shore in spring in schools. And believe it or not, they can live for up to 17 years.
They spawn once a year between March and August, scattering many eggs into open water.
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