Chub Mackerel

(Scomber japonicus)

Pacific chub mackerel, Chub, Chub mackerel

1. What is it?

Chub Mackerel (Scomber japonicus) are small, pelagic fish that form large schools based on size and will occasionally form schools with sardines. Chub Mackerel have a relatively long life span (18 years) making them moderately vulnerable to high fishing pressures. Stock status is unknown, although there are indications that the stock might be overexploited. Chub mackerel are listed as Least Concern on IUCN’s red list of threatened species.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

Purse seine

Chub mackerel are targeted or caught as bycatch within the purse seine fishery for jack mackerel. Purse-seine nets are set around a school of fish in the surface to mid-water; once the school is surrounded the bottom of the net is closed by a footrope. Current levels of bycatch are unknown as well as the impact on endangered, threatened or vulnerable species. In addition, there is very little information available regarding the proportion or survival of discarded species. There is no known damage to benthic habitats.

Midwater trawl

Chub Mackerel are targeted or caught as bycatch using mid-water trawls. Midwater trawl nets are very large with a minimum mesh size of 75 mm when stretched to maximum size. Trawling takes place in the zone between the seabed and surface of the sea and the net is dragged through the water without touching the seabed. Current levels of bycatch are unknown as well as the impact on endangered, threatened or vulnerable species. In addition there is very little information available regarding the proportion or survival of discarded species. There is no known damage to benthic habitats.

3. Where is it from?

Purse seine

Chub Mackerel are fished around Chile in the South Pacific Ocean and imported into South Africa. Chub mackerel are managed through a number of regulatory measures including a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limit for the target species (jack mackerel), specific mesh sizes, minimum landing sizes and seasonal closures. In recent years, Chile and Peru have made efforts to improve the legal and institutional framework of the fishery. However the effectiveness of their current management is unknown due to lack of information and poor data collection.

Midwater trawl

Chub Mackerel are fished around Chile in the South Pacific Ocean and imported into South Africa. Chub mackerel are managed through a number of regulatory measures including a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limit for the target species (jack mackerel), specific mesh sizes, minimum landing sizes and seasonal closures. In recent years, Chile and Peru have made efforts to improve the legal and institutional framework of the fishery. However the effectiveness of their current management is unknown due to lack of information and poor data collection.