This fish is highly productive! It is a serial spawner, with females laying an average of about 34,000 eggs per spawning event.
- Scientific name means “naturally formed rough tail”.
- Average length of 55 cm (21.6 in). 
- Color ranges from metallic blue to olive green. 
- Dorsal fin has 8 spines followed by 31 to 33 rays. 
- Found from the Eastern Pacific, from Southeast Alaska to Southern Baja California, Mexico, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. 
- Eggs and larvae are commonly encountered beyond 320 km (200 mi) offshore. 
- Lives up to 30 years. 
- Matures at a relatively young age of one to three years. 
- Has the lowest adult natural mortality compared to every other pelagic schooling species in the same region. 
- Adults are often found offshore- can be up to 800 km (500 mi) offshore, 400 m (1310 ft) deep. 
- Prefers subtropical regions at 8 degrees Celsius. 
- Found within mixed schools consisting of sardine, Pacific mackerel, and anchovy. 
- Primarily feeds on large zooplankton, juvenile squid, and anchovy. 
- Preyed on by larger tuna, billfish, and marine mammals. 
- A 1980’s decline in availability of Pacific and Jack mackerel  led to rapid expansion in the 1990s of the market squid and sardine fisheries in Southern CA. 
This fish is regulated along with other coastal pelagic fish, such as northern anchovy, market squid, Pacific sardine, and Pacific mackerel.
- Primarily caught from December through April. 
Regulatory and managing authority
- The Jack mackerel fishery is managed federally by NOAA fisheries and, as established by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) through the Coastal Pelagic Species Fishery Management Plan (CPSFMP). 
- As established by the Marine Life Management Act, the California Fish and Game Commission (CFGC) regulates the fishery in state waters, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) collects data and helps enforce FMP management rules for this fishery through the Pelagic Fisheries and Ecosystems Program. [13,14]
- The California Wetfish Producers Association combines input from the industry and government entities to inform regulatory and management measures for this fishery. 
- Generally targeted with “round-haul” gear , such as purse seines, drum seines, lampara nets, and dip nets. 
- Also caught incidentally  in midwater trawls, pelagic trawls, gillnets, trammel nets, pots, and with trolls, hook-and-line, and jigs. 
Status of the fishery
- Peak catch occurred in 1953, bringing in 70,000 metric tons of yield. 
- Since 1991, catch averages have been less than 2,000 tons each year, composing only about 2% of CPS landings. 
- Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) are allocated depending on distribution in US (65 percent). 
Potential ecosystem impacts
- Assessed with “Least Concern” in northeastern Pacific, there is no current indication of widespread population decline. 
- Midwater gear has minimal impact on environment because it does not contact seafloor. 
Some of the best barbeque fish are Mackerel species.
- The flesh is edible.
- The bones can be eaten if in canned form (boiled).
Description of meat
- Tastes similar to sardine.
- Dense, rich and oily.
- Can be fried, baked, poached, grilled, marinated, smoked and barbecued. 
- Sold fresh, smoked, canned and frozen. 
- For a recipe for barbequed mackerel, visit BBC's Good Food. 
- A demonstration on how to filet and make mackerel sushi can be found on YouTube. 
- Nutritional facts shown for drained, canned, jack, mackerel. 
- Mackerel should be put on ice once taken out of the water, otherwise it will spoil quickly and can develop bacteria that leads to scombrid poisoning. [12, 16]
- Year round.