Mackerel Fish Characteristics

Mackerel fish is classified as saltwater fish which scientifically belongs to the family Scombridae along with tuna and bonito fish. Although mackerel and tuna share the same family, generally, mackerel members are much slimmer and smaller than tuna. However, they have similar common characteristics. The name of mackerel itself is derived from Old French mackerel, which has over 1300 meaning, including marked, spotted, pimp or procurer. Those which belong to mackerel group consist of 21 species. One of the most famous species is king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) which commonly are caught by commercial fishermen for consumption and by sports fishermen for its ability of fighting.

What Makes Mackerel Fish Different From Tuna?

All of the members of mackerel fish group are pelagic fish. It means that the fish lives in the pelagic zone of the water and does not live too close to the bottom of the ocean as well as too close to the shore. The mackerel fish are usually migrating from one area to another in a large group of the same species, which is commonly called schools. The schools of smaller mackerel often being hunted by larger predators, including larger mackerel, making the smaller mackerel becomes the forage fish. They also become prey for tuna, sharks, marlin, or even seabirds.

Regardless the species, most mackerel share the same typical body type of the family which has a slight body and forked tails. Also, mackerel usually have vertical stripe marks on their backs, and it is typical to mackerel. Even, the vertical stripes may bring the name “mackerel” to other species not belonging to the mackerel group which has vertical stripes pattern on their bodies. As a consumption fish, mackerel is often traded both in a fresh state and preserved. The most common preserved mackerel is canned fish. It is because canned who create by can last longer than the fresh ones, making it safer for export and import activities.

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