U.S. commercial fishermen harvest multiple species of mackerel along the Eastern Coasts & into Gulf waters. Although Spanish (AKA Sierra) Mackerel makes up a smaller portion of total mackerel landings, incredibly this flavorful fish is one of the most prized by Chefs around the globe.
Before the 1980s, Spanish mackerel fisheries were unregulated with mass overfishing. Airplanes would be used to seek out schools of mackerel and alert large gillnet vessels to their location, greatly increasing harvests of this fish & decimating natural stocks of this slower growing species. Scientists determined that fishing rates were too high and were depleting the resource; state and federal managers promptly developed regulations to curb fishing for Spanish mackerel and help the resource recover. Several management measures - including limits on how much mackerel commercial and recreational fishermen can harvest, what types of gear they can use, and how many fishermen can participate in the fishery - have successfully rebuilt Spanish mackerel stocks after years of overfishing. Today, Spanish mackerel populations have fully recovered and are harvested