Scomber colias 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Scombridae

Scientific Name: Scomber colias Gmelin, 1789
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Atlantic Chub Mackerel
French Maquereau Blanc
Pneumatophorus japonicus ssp. marplatensis López, 1955
Scomber capensis Cuvier, 1832
Scomber colias Gmelin, 1789
Scomber dekayi Storer, 1855
Scomber gigas Fowler, 1935
Scomber gracilis Swainson, 1839
Scomber grex Mitchill, 1814
Scomber macrophthalmus Rafinesque, 1810
Scomber maculatus Couch, 1832
Scomber pneumatophorus Delaroche, 1809
Scomber scomber ssp. lacertus Walbaum, 1792
Scomber undulatus Swainson, 1839
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2015. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 7 January 2015. Available at: http://researcharchive.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp. (Accessed: 7 January 2015).
Taxonomic Notes: This species is now recognized as distinct from the Indo-Pacific Scomber japonicus (Collette 1999, Infante et al. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-01-26
Assessor(s): Collette, B. & Heessen, H.
Reviewer(s): Allen, D.J. & Polidoro, B.
Contributor(s): Amorim, A.F., Boustany, A., Carpenter, K.E., Di Natale, A., Fox, W., Fredou, F.L., Graves, J., Juan Jorda, M., Kada, O., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Nelson, R., Oxenford, H., Pires Ferreira Travassos, P.E., Teixeira Lessa, R.P., Viera Hazin, F.H. & de Oliveira Leite Jr., N.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ralph, G.
European Regional Assessment: Least Concern (LC)

Scomber colias is restricted to the Atlantic Ocean, and is widespread and abundant in the northeastern Atlantic, including the Mediterranean and Black seas. It is fast-growing and matures at two to three years of age but is relatively long-lived, typically 8–10 years. Scomber colias is targeted throughout parts of its range, but there are no other known widespread threats. There is evidence that the sub-population in the Mediterranean has declined by up to 30% over the past 20 years, but the sub-population off the Iberian Peninsula has been increasing, likely due to improved recruitment. Thus, if the population in the assessment region is declining as a whole, the rate is less than the threshold for a threatened category. Therefore, S. colias is assessed as Least Concern, however ongoing monitoring is required.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Scomber colias is restricted to the Atlantic Ocean, including the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea. It is replaced by Scomber japonicus in the Indo-Pacific region. In the Atlantic, the range of this species is not continuous between the east and west, and north and south, and these should be considered separate stocks or populations. It is typically found from the surface to 250 or 300 m (Collette and Nauen 1983). In European waters, occasionally found northwards as far as Lewis off the west coast of Scotland and in the English Channel.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt (Egypt (African part), Sinai); France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Gibraltar; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guernsey; Israel; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Jersey; Lebanon; Libya; Malta; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal (Azores, Madeira, Portugal (mainland), Selvagens); Romania; Slovenia; Spain (Baleares, Canary Is., Spain (mainland), Spanish North African Territories); Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia, Turkey-in-Europe); United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Lower depth limit (metres):300
Range Map:170357-1

Population [top]

Population:There is significant gene flow between the Mediterranean Sea and the northeastern Atlantic Ocean populations of Scomber colias (Zardoya et al. 2004). This species is common throughout the Mediterranean and is abundant particularly in the southern part.

The population in the Mediterranean is suspected of declining by up to 30% over the past 20 years (Di Natale et al. 2011). However, the population off the Iberian Peninsula appears to be increasing (Martins et al. 2013).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is a coastal pelagic species, and to a lesser extent epipelagic to mesopelagic over the continental slope (Collette and Nauen 1983). Schooling by size is well developed and initiates at approximately 3 cm (Collette and Nauen 1983). It may also form schools with Sarda species, bonitos, jacks, and clupeids (Collette 1995, 1999).

This species feeds on small pelagic fishes such as anchovy, pilchard, sardinella, sprat, silversides, and pelagic invertebrates such as copepods, squids and other crustaceans (Collette and Nauen 1983).

This species may live to 13 years (Carvalho 2002), and has a length at 50% maturity of approximately 18 cm corresponding to an age of about two years (Hattour 2000).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (year-round)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This is an important commercial species throughout its range. This species is caught mostly with purse seines, often together with sardines, and sometimes using light trolling lines, gill nets, traps, beach seines and midwater trawls.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Scomber colias is an important commercial species throughout its range. This species is caught mostly with purse seines, often together with sardines, and sometimes using light trolling lines, gill nets, traps, beach seines and midwater trawls. In the Mediterranean the technology used to catch this species is becoming more sophisticated, which may be resulting in increased mortality.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There is a minimum size limit of 18 cm for all Scomber species in the European Union and Turkey. In the Mediterranean, a targeted management plan for this species is needed to reverse long term declining trends. Better data on fishing and fishing effort will help to further assess this species in the future. Scomber colias was assessed as Near Threatened in the Mediterranean (Abdul Marak et al. 2011) but as Least Concern globally (IUCN 2011).

Citation: Collette, B. & Heessen, H. 2015. Scomber colias. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T170357A18206863. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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