Spanish Mackerel

Latin name: Scomberomorus commerson

Common name: Mackerel

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Wild Caught

QLD, Commonwealth waters

Key Facts

  • Stocks of Spanish mackerel are overfished or in unsustainable decline around Queensland and the Torres Strait.
  • Spanish mackerel is caught using a variety of line fishing methods. Because these line fishing methods are highly targeted, impacts on other species and habitats are negligible.
  • Spanish mackerel fisheries in NT or WA-managed fisheries are more sustainable and are a GoodFish better choice.

Cooking & Recipes


Grill or BBQ this firm, meaty fish in place of Swordfish, Marlin or Tuna. It won’t dry out or become tough like swordfish can, making it an easy-to-use, tasty (and sustainable!) alternative. Match with other strong flavours like lemon, tomato and herbs. Very fresh Spanish Mackerel can also be used raw or cured. Try coating it lightly in salt and citrus zest for an hour before washing this off, slicing thinly and serving as a crudo with citrus segments, fresh herbs and olive oil. Spanish Mackerel is also well suited to using in fish curries – the firm flesh will hold up well when cubed and added to the sauce at the last minute.

More information

  • Commonwealth Torres Strait Finfish Fishery (87t 2019)
  • QLD East Coast Spanish Mackerel Fishery and Gulf of Carpentaria Line Fishery (458 t 2020)

Spanish mackerel is found across much of northern Australia, and fished in Commonwealth, QLD, NT and WA-managed fisheries. The structure of stocks is complex as there are a number of different stocks within a single jurisdiction.

Recent scientific stock assessments have shown that Spanish mackerel is seriously overfished on Queensland’s east coast, where vulnerable spawning aggregations of fish are targeted. In Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria, stock assessments show that stocks are below a healthy level and overfishing has been occurring. In the Commonwealth-managed Torres Strait fishery, stocks are well below a healthy level and important measures of  sustainability are showing negative trends.

Spanish mackerel is caught using a variety of line methods, including trolling and handlines. Although independent observer coverage is minimal in all fisheries, the likelihood of significant threatened species interaction is low because of the targeted fishing method.

Spanish mackerel caught in NT or WA-managed fisheries come from much healthier stocks and are a GoodFish better choice.