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Mackerel (scomber scombrus)

A member of the Scombridae family, that includes Bonito and Tuna - although these are much larger fish.

Mackerel grows up to half a metre in length, but half this is more common. It is found from the Black Sea, through the Mediterranean and on both sides of the North Atlantic, generally swimming in very large shoals; but it"s a summer fish - in winter hibernating into deep waters. Their flesh is oily, so they are best grilled or fried, but are certainly not fish pie or soup material. This oiliness makes them excellent for smoking, which is how they are often found on supermarket shelves. Often known as Ronnach in Ireland; and, to differentiate them from other mackerel varieties - Atlantic Mackerel elsewhere. They are their best during autumn months and at their worst between March and July – when they're spawning.

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