Mackerel – Atlantic/Boston

Mackerel – Atlantic/Boston

Scomber Scombrus

Market Name(s): Tiger Mackerel, Atlantic Mackerel, Boston Mackerel

Primary Source(s): Typically Virginia North into Maine

Season: Year Round

Size Range:  up to 1 lb

It may be hard to believe that a small fish like the Atlantic Mackerel, which rarely exceeds two feet in length, is a close relative of the Bluefin Tuna, which commonly tip the scales at 400 pounds or more. But that is precisely the case. The family Scombridae encompasses both fishes, and each share similar features: Both have deeply forked or crescent-shaped tail fins, both are predaceous, and both are streamlined, powerful swimmers that are highly migratory, covering vast distances in their respective ocean journeys. It is for this reason that both are found around the world, and in great numbers in the Atlantic Ocean.

There are several types of mackerel on the market today, but all are fairly comparable in appearance and size. The Spanish Mackerel, The Painted Mackerel (Cero) and the King Mackerel (Cavalla) are all a bit larger than, and rarely swim as far north as, the more common Atlantic Tiger Mackerel, which frequents the waters of Massachus