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Mackerel

Family: Scombridae (Mackerel and tunas)

There are numerous species of these fish and they occur in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish (Scomberomorus maculatus) enter bays and can be caught near bridges and piers. The largest mackerel is the King (Scomberomorus cavalla) which can grow to 66 inches (168 cm). They are easily identified by having a slim, cylindrical shape (as opposed to the tunas which are deeper bodied) and numerous finlets on the dorsal and ventral behind the dorsal and anal fins. The scales are extremely small, if present. They are prized for their meat and fighting ability, and are an important recreational and commercial fishery. In the tropics, the meat can spoil quickly, causing scombroid food poisoning.



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