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Synonyms
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  • Scomber colias  Gmelin, 1789
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  • Scomber pneumatophorus  Delaroche, 1809
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  • Scomber grex  Mitchill, 1815
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  • Scomber capensis  Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1831
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  • Scomber maculates  Couch, 1832
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  • Scomber undulatus  Swainson, 1839
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  • Scomber saba  Bleeker, 1854
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  • Scomber dekayi  Storer, 1855
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  • Scomber diego  Ayres, 1857
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  • Pneumatophorus japonicus  Starks, 1922
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  • Pneumatophorus grex  Jordan & Hubbs, 1925
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  • Scomber gigas  Fowler, 1935
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  • Pneumatophorus japonicus marplatensis  López, 1955
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  • Scomber japonicus colias  Padoa, 1956
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  • Scomber peruanus  Fitch & Craig, 1964
    FAO Names
    En - Chub mackerel, Fr - Maquereau espagnol, Sp - Estornino.
    3Alpha Code: MAS     Taxonomic Code: 1750100201
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Scomber japonicus  Houttuyn, 1782, Verh.Holl.Maatsch.Wet.Haarlem, 20(2):331 (Japan).
    Diagnostic Features
    Palatine bone (on roof of mouth) narrow, palatine teeth in single or double rows, when double, rows close and running into each other.  First dorsal fin with 9 or 10 spines; space between first and second dorsal fin less than first dorsal fin base; anal fin origin opposite that of second dorsal fin or somewhat more posterior; anal fin spine conspicuous, clearly separated from anal rays but joined to them by a membrane.  Swimbladder present.  Vertebrae 14 precaudal plus 17 caudal; first haemal spine posterior to first interneural process; 12 to 15 interneural bones under first dorsal fin.  Colour: back with oblique lines which zigzag and undulate; belly unmarked (Pacific populations) or marked by spotting or wavy broken lines (Atlantic populations). 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Cosmopolitan, inhabiting the warm and temperate transition waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans and adjacent seas.
    Habitat and Biology
    A primarily coastal pelagic species, to a lesser extent epipelagie or mesopelagic over the Continental slope, occurring from the surface to about 250 or 300 m depth.Seasonal migrations may be very extended, the fish in the northern hemisphere moving further northward with increased summer temperatures, and southwards for overwintering and spawning. The reverse pattern generally applies to populations in the southern hemisphere.Schooling by size is well developed and initiates at approximately 3 cm. Schools of adults are the most compact and structured. Multispecies schooling in the Northeastern Pacific may occur with eastern Pacific bonito (Sarda chiliensis ), jack mackerel (Trachurus symmetricus ), and Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax ).
    Spawning most often occurs at water temperatures of 15° to 20°C, which results in different spawning seasons by regions, for example: off Peru, from January through May and in September; off northeastern Japan, from April to August with a peak in May, but initiating in March further south; off California and Baja California, from March through October with peaks between April and August. Spawning occurs in several batches of about 250 to 300 eggs per 9 of fish with the total number of eggs per female ranging from approximately 100 000 to 400 000.  The chub mackerel is believed to be in food competition with the species it schools with, such as the eastern Pacific bonito, the jack mackerel and others. Its feeding is opportunistic and non-selective, the diet of adults ranging from Copepods and other Crustaceans to fish and squid.Its predators include tunas, billfishes, white seabass (Cynoscion nobilis), yellowtail (Seriola lalandi) and other fishes, as well as sea lions, sharks and pelicans.
    Size
    Maximum fork length 50 cm, common to 30 cm (a fish of 47.6 cm fork length weighed 1.1 kg).
    Interest to Fisheries
    Catches of chub mackerel reached their peak (3 412 602 t) in 1978; since then, they have been decreasing to a minimum of 963 302 t in 1991 but, in the recent years, have slightly recovered up to 1 556 888 t in 1995. Catches are reported to FAO from 13 fishing areas, but the bulk is taken in the area 61 (1 096 121 in 1995) and in the area 34 (170 377 t). At present the principal method of fishing chub mackerel is purse seining ("small pelagic purse seining", "mackerel purse seining"), even though other types of gear are still being used, for example, lampara nets, set nets, trap nets, gillnets, large lift nets, spoon nets, trolling gear, balance nets, stake lines, longlines, and even trawls. Such gear is mostly used in small-scale fisheries. Between 1971 and 1974 more chub mackerel were taken in the sports fishery than in Commercial operations off California (Schaefer, 1980). Some countries have management schemes and local regulations to protect the stocks. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 1 955 053 t. The countries with the largest catches were Peru (527 729 t) and China (522 663 t).
    Local Names
    ARGENTINA : Caballa .
    AUSTRALIA : Common mackerel .
    BRAZIL : Cavalinha .
    CHILE : Caballa .
    COLOMBIA : Caballeta ,  Salmonete .
    CUBA : Caballa .
    ECUADOR : Caballa ,  Macarela .
    EGYPT : Scomber .
    FRANCE : Maquereau espagnol .
    GERMANY : Japanische Makrele .
    GREECE : Koliós .
    GUATEMALA : Caballa .
    ISRAEL : Kolias .
    ITALY : Lanzardo ,  Scombro macchiato ,  Sgombro cavallo .
    JAPAN : Hirasaba ,  Masaba .
    MALTA : Kavall .
    MEXICO : Cachorreta ,  Macarela del Pacifico .
    MONACO : Cuguu .
    MOROCCO : Kabaila .
    PERU : Caballa ,  Verle .
    PHILIPPINES : Alumahan ,  Lumahan (Tagalog),  Japan mackerel .
    POLAND : Makrela kolias .
    PORTUGAL : Cavalinha .
    ROMANIA : Colios .
    SOUTH AFRICA : Mackerel ,  Makriel .
    SPAIN : Estornino .
    SWEDEN : Spank makrill .
    TUNISIA : Sqoumri .
    TURKEY : Kolyoz .
    UK : Chub mackerel .
    URUGUAY : Caballa .
    USA : Chub mackerel ,  Pacific mackerel California:,  Opelu palahu Hawaii:,  Saba .
    former USSR : Afrikanskaya skumbriya ,  Atlanticheskaya skumbriya ,  Kalifornijskaya skumbriya ,  Vostochnaya skumbriya ,  Yuzhnaya skumbriya .
    VENEZUELA : Cachorreta ,  Macarela .
    VIET NAM : Ca thu Nhat-ban .
    YUGOSLAVIA : Bilica ,  Juja ,  Lancarda ,  Plavica .
    Source of Information
    FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of Tunas, Mackerels, Bonitos and related species known to date.Collette, B.B.  &  C.E. Nauen 1983..  FAO Fish. Synop., (125)Vol.2:137 p.
    Bibliography
    Fischer, ed. (1973, Species Identification Sheets, Mediterranean and Black sea); Sidwell et al. (1974, information on composition of edible portion)
    Collette, (1978, Species Identification Sheets, Western Central Atlantic; 1981, Species Identification Sheets, Eastern Central Atlantic)
    Kramer, (1969)
    Schaefer, (1980, species synopsis)
     
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