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Are there any Spanish mackerel in Spain?

Remote River Man

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As a trivia geek, I've always wondered why Spanish mackerel are called that - what exactly is "Spanish" about them? Not all that much, apparently. Although several different mackerel species around the world are referred to as 'Spanish mackerel', including the smaller Atlantic chub mackerel (common in the Mediterranean) as well as other types in Japan, China, the Caribbean and other places, these are totally different species to what we know in Australia as Spanish mackerel - the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson).

This critter has quite a wide distribution from Southeast Asia right across the Indian Ocean to East Africa, also down both coasts of Australia as far south as Perth and Sydney, and east across to parts of the Southwest Pacific, including Fiji.

What's interesting is that 'our' Spanish mackerel never used to be in Spain at all (and certainly didn't originate there). You might find the odd one cruising around the Spanish coastline these days - but that's only because it colonised that part of the world when it migrated in from the Red Sea via the Suez canal back in the 1930s. It's now reasonably common in eastern parts of the Mediterranean, but presumably a bit less so in Spain, further west.

So, there ya go... the not-so-Spanish mackerel. They're big, great fighters, perpetually hungry, tasty, very easy to spot on a sounder and rather partial to trolled Halco metal flashas. So, what to do with them after you catch them? Here are some useful ideas:


Edited by Remote River Man
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Good question (for which there seems to be no logical answer), but ours isn't the only 'Spanish mackerel' in the world that has little or nothing to do with Spain, strangely. Bottom line: a lot of fish names just make no sense at all...

Why is the King Brown snake called a King Brown, when it's actually a member of the black snake family? There's even a frog in the Caribean called a 'mountain chicken', too. Common names are a slippery slope of silliness for many creatures.

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