Scomberomorus maculatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Scombridae

Scientific Name: Scomberomorus maculatus (Mitchill, 1815)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic Spanish Mackerel
French Thazard Atlantique, Thazard Tacheté du Sud
Spanish Carite Atlántico, Sierra Pintada
Scomber maculatus Mitchill, 1815
Taxonomic Notes: Three species have often been confused with S. maculatus, namely: Scomberomorus tritor in the eastern Atlantic; S. sierra in the eastern Pacific; and S. brasiliensis in the Caribbean and along the Atlantic coast of South America.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-09-14
Assessor(s): Collette, B., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., Fox, W., Graves, J., Juan Jorda, M., Nelson, R. & Oxenford, H.
Reviewer(s): Russell, B. & Polidoro, B.
The species is under a conservative management regime in the north Atlantic U.S. and assessments estimate that the stock is not over-fished and not undergoing overfishing.  Based on a NOAA 2003 (US Gulf of Mexico) and SEDAR 2008 (Southeast Atlantic) assessments there is no current indication of decline. Recent data from the southern Gulf of Mexico and Yucatan indicate that the species is fully-exploited. This species is listed as Least Concern.
For further information about this species, see TUNAS_SkiJumpEffect.pdf.
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Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is present in the Western Atlantic from Cape Cod to Miami (USA) and the Gulf of Mexico coasts from Florida, USA to Yucatan, Mexico.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central; Atlantic – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):35
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is an important recreational, commercial and artisanal species throughout its range. Homogenous distribution of genetic variance among samples from widely spaced geographic regions (Chesapeake Bay, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Gulf of Mexico) was consistent with the hypothesis that Spanish Mackerel comprise a single intermingling genetic stock (Buonaccorsi et al. 2001). Although there are no genetic differences between the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico stocks, they are managed separately. Total catch reported is probably underestimated due to reporting of unclassified Scomberomorus species captures as well as the probably inadequate reporting of artisanal and recreational catches (Manooch et al. 1978). International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) annual catches reached 16,725 t in 1996. Average estimated landings from 1980 to 2004 is 12,739 t with a drop-off between 1998 through 2003 where landings oscillated between 8,000–10,000 t then increasing again to just below 14,000 t in 2004 (ICCAT 2006).

In the 1980s, this species was considered overfished throughout its US range. Posterior management measures have been effective in rebuilding the stocks to currently healthy levels. The spawning stock biomass (SSB) is currently higher than the SSB maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and fishing mortality (F) is lower than FMSY for both the U.S. south Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico stocks (SEDAR 2008, NMFS 2003). The fishery independent Seamap index from 1990 to 2007 shows that there is a lot of variation in age one biomass, but there is no current indication of decline (SEDAR 2008).

In Mexico, a 1994 assessment found that the stock on the Mexican side was slightly under-exploited (Chavez 1994). More recent data from the Institute Nacional de Pesca (2004) show this species to be fully-exploited. Catches have been in decline since 1994 in Mexico however, there is uncertainty surrounding the causes of the decline.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a migratory species that moves north along the Atlantic coast of the United States and north and west along the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and returns in the fall (Collette and Russo 1984). It can also enter estuaries. Larvae are found in surface waters between 19.6–29.8°C with a salinity of 28.3–37.4 ppt. It feeds mainly on small fishes (clupeoids and anchovies), but also on penaeoid shrimps and cephalopods.

Maximum size length estimate this species is 91 cm fork length (FL). Sexual maturity in Florida is attained by age two at 25–32 cm FL for females and 28–34 cm for males (Klima 1959). This species lives to nine years in the Gulf of Mexico (Fable et al. 1987), and to 11 years in the Atlantic (Schmidt et al.1993). Generation length is estimated to be four years.

The all-tackle angling record is of a 5.89 kg fish taken in Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina in 1987 (IGFA 2011). This is a migratory species that moves north along the Atlantic coast of the United States and north and west along the Gulf of Mexico in the spring and returns in the fall (Collette and Russo 1984).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is highly commercial.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This is a highly commercial fish taken by gillnets, purse seines and on line gear. Casting, live-bait fishing, jigging, and drift fishing are also employed in capturing this species in the recreational fishery. Aerial spotting is sometimes used in locating the fish.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is managed in the US under the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources. The management bodies are the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC). The management plan establishes a number of conservation measures that have helped to recuperate Spanish Mackerel fisheries including determine quotas, bag limits and trip limits. Drift gill nets were banned in 1989.

There are no known  species specific conservation actions in place in Mexico.

Citation: Collette, B., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., Fox, W., Graves, J., Juan Jorda, M., Nelson, R. & Oxenford, H. 2011. Scomberomorus maculatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T170323A6748550. . Downloaded on 23 April 2018.
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