AskDefine | Define mackerel

Dictionary Definition



1 flesh of very important usually small (to 18 in) fatty Atlantic fish
2 any of various fishes of the family Scombridae

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An edible fish of the family Scombridae, often speckled.


edible fish
  • Asturian: xarda
  • Bosnian: skuša
  • Bulgarian: скумрия
  • Chinese: 鯖魚/鲭鱼 qīngyú
  • Croatian: skuša
  • Czech: makrela
  • Danish: makrel
  • Dutch: makreel
  • Finnish: makrilli
  • French: maquereau
  • German: Makrele
  • Hungarian: makréla
  • Ido: Makrelo
  • Irish: ronnach
  • Italian: sgombro
  • Japanese: (さば), saba
  • Korean: 고등어 godeung'eo
  • Latin: scomber
  • Lithuanian: skumbrė
  • Norwegian: makrell
  • Polish: makrela
  • Romanian: macrou
  • Russian: скумбрия /skúmbrija/ , макрель /makr'él'/
  • Scots Gaelic: rionnach
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: скуша
    Roman: skuša
  • Slovene: skuša
  • Spanish: caballa
  • Swedish: makrilli
  • Turkish: uskumru
  • Ukrainian: скумбрія

See also

Extensive Definition

Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They occur in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), enter bays and can be caught near bridges and piers. The largest species called "mackerel" is the king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) which can grow to 66 inches (1.68 m). Common features of mackerels are a slim, cylindrical shape (as opposed to the tunas which are deeper bodied) and numerous finlets on the dorsal and ventral sides behind the dorsal and anal fins. The scales are extremely small, if present. A female mackerel lays about 500,000 eggs at a time.
Shearwater, tuna, dolphins, whales, orca, seagulls, marlins, sharks, and humans may hunt mackerels. Mackerels are prized (and are highly harvested) for their meat, which is often very oily. They are known for their fighting ability, and are an important recreational and commercial fishery. The meat can spoil quickly, especially in the tropics, causing scombroid food poisoning - it must be eaten on the day of capture, unless cured. For this reason, mackerel is the only common salt-cured sushi. This fish is highly valued by fisheries. Mackerel fishery is well established in India, the species caught is usually Rastrelliger kanagurta.

Use as an adjective

"Mackerel" is also used as an adjective in the vernacular names of other animals or breeds thereof, often used to indicate types with a mackerel-like pattern of vertical stripes:

External links

mackerel in German: Makrele
mackerel in Spanish: Verdel
mackerel in French: Maquereau
mackerel in Ido: Makrelo
mackerel in Italian: Sgombro
mackerel in Lithuanian: Skumbrė
mackerel in Dutch: Makreel (dier)
mackerel in Japanese: サバ
mackerel in Norwegian: Makrell
mackerel in Malayalam: അയല
mackerel in Polish: Makrela
mackerel in Portuguese: Carapau
mackerel in Russian: Скумбрия
mackerel in Finnish: Makrilli
mackerel in Swedish: Makrill
mackerel in Vietnamese: Cá thu
mackerel in Turkish: Uskumru
mackerel in Chinese: 鯖魚
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