What is mackerel?

Mackerel is the name for over 30 species of pelagic, or midwater-dwelling fish, belonging to the Scombridae family. Their strength in flavour is often compared to salmon, where simple seasoning is often recommended to allow the flavour of the fish to shine. Mackerel is an oily fish, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, highly valued in the human diet. Before the 19th Century development of canning and refrigeration, salting and smoking were the main preservation methods and remain common.

Is mackerel sustainable?

Mackerel caught on or after 2nd March 2019 cannot be sold as MSC certified or bear the blue MSC label as all mackerel fisheries are currently suspended from our program. You may still find MSC labelled mackerel in shops as previously certified product is already in the supply chain.   


Bonus fact

The term mackerel means 'marked' or 'spotted' and originates from c.1300 Old French 'maquerel'. This word translates as 'pimp, procurer, broker, agent, intermediary.' The connection is obscure but mackerel do spawn enthusiastically in shoals at shore, near the surface of the water in summertime.


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