Pacific Chub Mackerel

Pacific Chub Mackerel

  Pelagic fish

Pacific Chub Mackerel

Identity card

Pacific Chub Mackerel

Scientific name:
Scomber japonicus
Year of description:
Houttuyn, 1782
IUCN Status:
Least Concern

In the Pacific Ocean, from Alaska to the Gulf of California and from Panama to southern Chile.


Between 0 and 300 metres


30 cm up to 64 cm


it feeds on fish, cephalopods and seafood (especially copepods)


7 years

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?


12 The great Ocean show

Pacific Chub Mackerel

Did you know?

The Latin name for Pacific chub mackerel is Scomber japonicus and it is also called the Pacific herring.

It is common to find California pilchards
Sardinops sagax, Pacific jack mackerel Trachurus symmetricus or Eastern Pacific bonito Sarda chiliensis in these schools.

Pacific Chub Mackerel

At Nausicaá, Pacific chub mackerel can be found in the Journey on the High Seas exhibition.

 They form a fascinating school that lives in a 10,000-m3 tank and crosses paths with other schooling fish such as Atlantic lookdown and snapper.

Where is the animal to be found?

It is a coastal pelagic species that congregates in schools when the fish reaches a size of 3 cm and is found at a depth of between 0 and 300 metres. Pacific chub mackerel live close to the seabed during the day and come up to the open sea at night to feed on copepods, fish, shellfish and squid. 

How can it be recognised? 

It can grow to a maximum size of 64 cm, but typically measures 30 cm. It has narrow stripes on its back. Atlantic populations (Scomber colias in this case) have stripes on their abdomens in contrast to Pacific populations.

What is distinctive about it? 

Pacific chub mackerel has an estimated lifespan of 7 years with maturity reached between 2 and 4 years.

During spawning, the female can produce between 100 and 400,000 eggs in several phases!

Threat and protective measure

Classed as LC – least concern by the UICN, Pacific chub mackerel is a commercially harvested species for human consumption: it is sold fresh, frozen, smoked or salted!

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