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Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) is a schooling fish that lives in the coastal waters of North America, in the North Sea, in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea.
Unlike most fish, mackerel are unusual in that they have no swim bladder, meaning they can quickly move through different depths of water without pressure equalization but must constantly keep moving to create buoyancy and avoid sinking.
Mackerel are related to tuna. They are an iridescent greenish-blue colour, with dark blue horizontal stripes along their backs. Once caught, they turn a shimmering silvery-blue colour.

Cooking methods

Mackerel can be prepared in many ways. They taste particularly delicious smoked, ideally served warm straight after the smoking process. As the opportunity to experience this seldom presents itself, smoked mackerel can simply be briefly warmed in the oven before serving.
With its handy size, however, it is wonderful cooked whole in the oven or on the grill, stuffed with a few slices of lemon and Mediterranean herbs.
Its skin is best removed shortly before eating, as this keeps the flesh nice and succulent. Mackerel needs strong, dry heat, so is not suited to poaching.

Flavour and texture

The flesh of the mackerel is brownish-red and is particularly tangy and succulent.
The fat content of mackerel varies depending on the season. Usually, it is around 3% but in the autumn, it can be an incredible 30%. Due to the high percentage of Omega 3 fatty acids, which keep the heart and circulation in good shape, the fat of the mackerel is considered to be very healthy.
With its high fat content, autumn mackerel acquires a particularly smoky taste when smoked.

Fishing method

Hooks and long lines
In long-line fishing, numerous bait hooks with branch lines are arranged along a plastic bottom set line. Long lines can be up to 130 kilometres long. However, the amount of bait and length of the line vary greatly.
Mackerel or squid are mainly used as bait. The targeted fish are mostly high-quality edible fish.
The advantages of this fishing method are the comparatively low rate of injury to the target fish compared with net fishing and the fact that the ocean floor is not damaged. The downside of this catch method is the relatively high bycatch rate.