About This Fish

Horse Mackerel


The horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) is a ray finned fish which belongs to family Carangidae under Order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. It is also known as Atlantic horse mackerel, common scad, maasbanker, pollock, scad, saurel, rough scad etc. The horse mackerel is found in the north-eastern Atlantic from Iceland to Senegal including the Cape Verde islands and also in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The horse mackerel is a pelagic coastal species that is found on continental shelves down to over 200 meters in depth. Adult species forms large schools in coastal areas with sandy substrate.



The Horse Mackerel has a compressed streamlined body. Back of the body is metallic grayish blue to green with silver sides that merge into the white in the belly region. The gill cover has a black spot between the lateral line and the pectoral fin. It has two dorsal fins, of which, the first one is short but tall while the second dorsal fin is prolonged and it is located just opposite to the anal fin. The first dorsal fin is composed of 8 membrane bound spinous fin rays while the second dorsal fin contains 29 - 33 soft rays. The anal fin has 2 short spines with 24-29 soft rays. The pectoral fin is long and the tail fin is deeply forked. The head and eyes are large and the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. It feeds on fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods. It reaches sexual maturity at the age between 3- 4 years. It is a batch spawner which spawns during the period between June and August. Female lays 140,000 eggs in a season. It attains up to 70 cm in length and 2 kg in weight.


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Turkey