Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)

The Atlantic mackerel is a pelagic schooling species of mackerel found on both sides of the North Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic mackerel is extremely common in huge shoals migrating towards the coast to feed on small fish and prawns during the summer. It is 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).

Mackerel 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.

In ClimeFish, migratory pelagic species like herring, capelin, mackerel and blue whiting are considered in the North-east Atlantic case study.