Horse Mackerel

Trachurus trachurus


Horse Mackerel is usually caught by trawling and Seine fishing. In Malta, they are caught using a method locally known as lampara.


It is usually available during the summer months.


The Horse Mackerel is said to have got its name from a legend that describes how smaller fish could travel on its back over long distances.

In English it goes by many other names including the common Scad, Atlantic horse Mackerel, European Horse Mackerel, and Saurel which is similar to its Maltese name Sawrell.

This fish can be cooked in many different ways including smoked, fried, salted and baked and it is a good source of vitamins D, B12 and is high in Omega-3.

Our suggestion

Horse mackerel, like other species of mackerel, mature quickly which makes them very resistant to fishing pressures. The Maltese lampara method generally uses smaller nets and have little bycatch. Horse mackerel and other small species mackerel are also used as feed in tuna pens. This practice is highly unsustainable and 25kg of mackerel is required to produce 1kg of tuna.

Despite this, given the information above, fish for tomorrow recommends the horse mackerel as a sustainable fish. It is also advisable not to purchase mackerel smaller than 25cm.