The HORSE MACKEREL has a moderately
compressed elongated body with blue grey
shades on the back and a silvery belly and
flanks, with a heavy lateral line.
It is found in the Northeast Atlantic, Madeira
Islands and the Mediterranean, where it inhabits
the water column in the coastal areas, from
the surface to the bottom, between 100 to 200 m
of depth. Horse mackerels form large schools
that migrate for long distances, feeding on
small crustaceans, fish and molluscs. It spawns
from December to April, peaking in February.
It is fished with seines, trawls and gillnets.
In Portugal the horse mackerel
may have different names depending on the
size: “jaquinzinho” (up to 15 cm long) and
“chicharro” (very big horse mackerels).
Minimum legal catch weight: