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Commercial Fishery for Blue Mackerel (Scomber australasieus)



Commercial Fishing for Blue Mackerel:

Also known as blue mackerel, Japanese mackerel, Pacific mackerel, slimy mackerel, or spotted chub mackerel

Map showing where Slimey Blue Mackerel are found in Australian waters.Slimy or Blue Mackerel are caught commercially by small purse seines for use as both live and dead bait in domestic tuna fisheries.

Blue mackerel (Scomber australasicus) occur in sub-tropical and temperate waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Blue mackerel occur off all states of Australia except the Northern Territory. The species inhabits inshore and continental shelf waters, with older fish occurring further offshore.

In the last decade there has been considerable research into the biology and stock assessment of blue mackerel. Blue mackerel grow relatively quickly, reaching approximately 17-22 cm fork length after one year. They reach a maximum age of about 7 years and length of 50cm. Blue mackerel mature at about 24-28 cm fork length and spawning takes place during late winter and spring in outer continental shelf waters off northern NSW and southern Qld. Off NSW the oldest fish occur offshore, beyond state waters and are targeted by Commonwealth licensed purse seinge and mid-water trawl fishers. In 2008/098 Commonwealth fishers landed about 2,000 tonnes of blue mackerel.



Relatively young (less than 2 years old) blue mackerel are caught by the Ocean Hauling Fishery in purse seine nets. Smaller quantities are also taken in bait nets (which are modified hauling nets) and general purpose hauling nets. Similar catch levels occur in all months of the year.

Commercial landings of blue mackerel since the mid 1980s have generally been between 300 and 500 tonnes annually but show considerable fluctuations. These fluctuations are likely to reflect changes in stock availability due to recruitment variability and may also reflect changes in the distribution of fish due to oceanographic processes.

Graph showing landings in NSW commercial fishery for Slimey Blue Mackerel, Pacific Mackerel

slimey mackerel, good bait fish, mackerel for bait, slimeys

Description, Location, Habitat and Harvesting Information
Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish found around the entire Australian coast except the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is caught mainly in temperate waters from southern Queensland to southern WA, including Tasmania, as a bycatch of Jack Mackerel (a member of the Trevally family, despite its name), with which it often schools, as well as off south-eastern Australia and as a targeted species of purse seine fishing in NSW. It is used as both live and dead bait in domestic Tuna fisheries. The juvenile fish inhabit inshore waters while the adults can be found at depths of up to 200m over the continental shelf.

 

 
Scientific Name Scomber australasieus
Location Southern half of Australia
Season Mainly Summer
Size To 50cm and 2 kg
Australian Species Code 37 441001
Taste, Texture Strong fishy flavour, oily. Fine texture.

Imports
None, though the closely related Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scrombus), and occasionally Chub Mackerel (Scomber japonicus), are imported frozen, whole and in fillets, smoked and canned in various forms (such as rollmops).


Sea-Ex Trade Seafood Directory - Companies and their contact details who are:

Exporters of Blue Mackerel
Importers of Blue Mackerel
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Wholesale Suppliers of Blue Mackerel
Agents for Blue Mackerel

See Also: Atlantic Mackerel | Atlantic Chub Mackerel | Atlantic Horse Mackerel | Blue Mackerel | Chub Mackerel | Frigate Mackerel | Grey Mackerel | Horse Mackerel | Indian Mackerel | Jack Mackerel | Pacific Mackerel | School Mackerel | Spanish Mackerel | Spotted Mackerel |

 


 

 

See Also:
Slimy (or Blue) Mackerel (Scomber australasieus) Photographs and Information
Fishing & Catching Blue Mackerel or Slimy Mackerel
Cooking Blue Mackerel | Recipes for Blue or Slimy Mackerel
Commercial Fishery for Blue (or Slimy) Mackerel (Scomber australasieus)
Slimy (or Blue) Mackerel (Scomber australasieus) Websites, Links & Resources

 

 


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