Mackerel (Scomber scombrus)

The Atlantic mackerel is a familiar, easily recognisable, strikingly coloured fish, with characteristic wavy black stripes over their dark blue backs, which fade to an iridescent greenish silvery colour on their sides and belly. Mackerel are slow growing and live for 20 years or more. A highly migratory species that forms huge schools, mackerel moving from deeper offshore waters where it overwinters to inshore waters or offshore shallow banks in the summer. It also moves northwards in the summer, then returns southwards in the winter as ocean temperature cools.

Mackerel fishing is very popular in the summer when shoals of mackerel move inshore to feed on small fish, such as sprats, herrings and sand eels. As well as being easy to catch and plentiful, fresh mackerel are highly regarded as a delicious fish for the table due to its oily flesh, which also makes it a highly effective and popular bait for sea angling.