Blue Mackerel

Latin name: Scomber australasicus

Common name: Slimy Mackerel

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Wild Caught


Key Facts

  • Blue Mackerel are mainly caught in NSW using purse seine nets in coastal waters. A small portion are caught using haul seine nets.
  • Eastern Australian Blue Mackerel populations are healthy.
  • The methods used to catch Australian salmon may have a low impact on threatened species but there is no verifiable data to demonstrate that the fishery does not impact vulnerable populations.
  • Marine parks provide a degree of protection in some areas of the fishery for threatened and endangered species.

More information

  • NSW Ocean Haul Fishery (431t in 2019/20)

Blue mackerel are a small pelagic predatory fish that forms significant schools in coastal and oceanic pelagic environments. They feed primarily on planktonic crustaceans, small squids and fish. The species is likely to have an important ecological role as a forage fish and key prey item for a range of higher order predators.

In NSW purse seine nets are used to take most of the commercial catch. This fishing method poses a low risk to vulnerable seafloor habitats, as nets are deployed and float at the ocean’s surface.

The purse seine fishing element of the fishery does not have observer coverage. Although the purse fishing method is fairly targeted and is not likely to pose a high risk to other species, a range of vulnerable and protected species are found in the fishing grounds. It is not possible to be confident that there is acceptably low impact in the absence of robust verified data.

Marine Parks provide some protection but, at the time of writing, the NSW DPI was considering opening highly protected marine reserves to fishing.