Season: April - November
Size: Up to 66 cm long
Mackerel is a migratory fish, travelling in schools close to the surface. It is an excellent swimmer, and as it has no swimming bladder it is able dive or rise quick as a flash. Mackerel normally can be up to 50 cm long.
When feeding, the mackerel swims at high speed with its mouth open. Water is expelled through its gill mesh, while the mackerel feeds on plankton and fish ova.
Most mackerel winter close to the ocean floor off the coast of south-west Norway, eating very little during this period. During April - May the mackerel spawn in central parts of the North Sea. Some also travel to the coast of Norway to feed and spawn. The mackerel feeds on small herring and brisling (sprat) , and after spawning it becomes what is popularly called autumn mackerel. During August - September it leaves the coast.
The mackerel fry matures quickly so that young mackerel can already be caught in the autumn.
The largest catches of mackerel are taken in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, but there are also quite a few along the coast from the Swedish border to Bergen. Mackerel is rare in northern Norway, even though it occasionally travels into the Barents Sea.