Sierra Pacific The Pacific sierra (Scomberomorus sierra) also known as the Mexican sierra, is a ray-finned bony fish in the family Scombridae, better known as the mackerel family. More specifically, this fish is a member of the tribe Scomberomorini, the Spanish mackerels. It occurs in the eastern Pacific Ocean from southern California to Antofagasta in Chile.
The Spanish mackerel is a medium-sized fish that can grow up to 120 cm, but it usually doesn't exceed 65 cm. Its maximum weight reaches 8 kg. The coloration is very similar to that of other members of its genus. Its back is dark blue or green and the flanks are silvery with a golden tint; juveniles have about ten dark vertical bars. The belly and the inside of its mouth as well as its gill covers are bright red.
The Spanish mackerel is an open water predator that lives in schools composed mainly of females, which move offshore from April to October, and aggregations of male individuals, which move towards the coast from September to December. During their offshore movement, males and pregnant or post-reproductive females may form mixed schools. It feeds on small pelagic fishes such as sardines, anchovies, and jack mackerels.
This species is fished commercially for its tender flesh and the high omega-3 fatty acids content in its liver oil. It is also esteemed as a sporting fish when caught by a light fishing tackle from small boats or shoreline from rocks, beaches, or piers. It is sought out by anglers fishing off Southern California to Central Baja California, where it is abundant during the summer and early fall. The world record is 4.5 kg caught by James Drotar near Catalina Island, California on December 17, 2010.
The Pacific sierra has been overfished off the coasts of North and Central America. Several governments (United States of America, Mexico, Canada) are trying to restore its stocks through fishing regulations and enforcement; nevertheless, the species is still at a low abundance level.
The Pacific sierra has important economic value in Chile but also represents an opportunity for US landings as it rounds the corner of Baja California Sur on its way north up the west coast of Mexico.
Global sierra pacific production
Scomberomorus sierra, also known as the Sierra mackerel, is a species of mackerel in the family Scombridae. It is found in pelagic waters off the coasts of Central and South America. Sierra mackerel is an important commercial fish species, with landings reaching over 200,000 tonnes in 2008. The majority of the catch is taken by purse seine fisheries, with smaller amounts taken by longline and gillnet fisheries.
Sierra mackerel are a relatively small species of mackerel, growing to a maximum length of around 50 cm (20 in). They have a blue-green back, with a silver-white underside. The flanks are marked with a series of dark vertical bars.
Sierra mackerel are found in the eastern Pacific Ocean, from Mexico to Peru. They typically occur in waters at depths of 20–200 m (66–656 ft), although they have been known to occur at depths of up to 1000 m (3281 ft).
Sierra mackerel are a highly migratory species, undertaking long-distance migrations between feeding and spawning grounds. They spawn in warm coastal waters, with adults moving offshore to cooler waters to feed. Juveniles typically remain close to the coast.
Sierra mackerel is an important commercial fish species, with landings reaching over 200,000 tonnes in 2008. The majority of the catch is taken by purse seine fisheries, with smaller amounts taken by longline and gillnet fisheries. Fish are used primarily for human consumption, although a small proportion is used for bait or fishmeal.
Sierra mackerel is a relatively abundant species, and are not currently considered to be at risk of extinction. However, they are susceptible to overfishing, and their populations may decline in the future if fishing pressure is not carefully managed.