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Synonyms
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  • Cybium gracile  Gunther, 1873
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  • Scomberomorus niphonius  Jordan, Tanaka & Snyder, 1913
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  • Sawara niphonia  Jordan & Hubbs, 1925
    FAO Names
    En - Japanese Spanish mackerel, Fr - Thazard oriental, Sp - Carite oriental.
    3Alpha Code: NPH     Taxonomic Code: 1750101512
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Cybium niphonium  Cuvier in Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1831, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons, 8:180-181 (Japan).
    Diagnostic Features
    Gillrakers on first arch moderate: 2 or 3 on upper limb; 9 to 12 on lower limb; 11 to 15 total.  First dorsal fin with 19 to 21 spines; second dorsal with 15 to 19 rays, followed by 7 to 9 finlets; anal fin with 16 to 20 rays, followed by 6 to 9 finlets; pectoral fin rays 21 to 23.  Lateral line gradually curving down toward caudal peduncle.  Vertebrae 21 to 23 precaudal plus 27 or 28 caudal, total 48 to 50, usually 49.  The only species in the genus with a straight intestine.  Colour: sides with 7 or more rows of longitudinal spots on the sides; some spots connected together; spots more numerous and smaller than in S. munroi, about pupil size; anterior quarter of first dorsal fin and a narrow distal margin of the rest of the dorsal fin black, most of basal membranes of posterior three quarters of fin white. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Confined to the subtropical and temperate waters of China, the Yellow Sea and Sea of Japan north to Vladivostock, former USSR (Collette & Russo, 1980:fig. 3).
    Habitat and Biology
    S. niphonius is an epipelagic, neritic species,carrying out a spawning migration in spring (March to June) and a feeding migration in fall (September to November) in the Inland Sea of Japan (Hamada & Iwai, 1967).
    Spawning extends from April to May with medium-sized fish producing some 550 000 to 870 000 eggs (Kishinouye, 1923).  No detailed food studies are available, but the species is known to prey on small fishes.
    Size
    Maximum size is 100 cm fork length and approximately 4.5 kg in weight.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Japanese Spanish mackerel is taken throughout its range, but is the most important Scomberomorus species in Japan. The world catch reported by China, Japan and the Republic of Korea fluctuated between 42 800 metric tons in 1975 and 68 300 metric tons in 1981 (FA0 1983). Driftnets and set gillnets are the major fishing gears in the seasonal fishery in the Inland Sea of Japan operational from March to June and from September to November.
    The fish are primarily marketed fresh, and are especially tasty in winter.The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 595 103 t. The countries with the largest catches were China (565 764 t) and Korea, Republic of (19 502 t).
    Local Names
    AUSTRALIA : Japanese Spanish mackerel ,  Spotted Spanish mackerel .
    JAPAN : Sagoshi ,  Sawara .
    former USSR : Melkopyatnistaya makrel ,  Yaponskaya korolevskaya makrel .
    VIET NAM : Cá thu áu Cham xanh .
    Remarks
    The Spanish mackerel found along the northern coast of Australia and the southern coast of Papua New Guinea that has been considered as S. niphonius actually represents a distinct species, S. munroi, as shown by Collette & Russo (1980).
    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
    Hamada & lwai, (1967, age and growth studies)
    Kim, (1970)
    Kishinouye, (1923)
    Liu, Zhang & Yang, (1982)
    Wang, (1982)
     
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