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Profile updated on 5 February 2020





Scomber japonicus


Pacific chub mackerel, Chub mackerel

Chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) is a pelagic species that is widely distributed in coastal waters of the Pacific in both northern and southern hemispheres (Froese and Pauly 2019)(IUCN 2009). In the NW Pacific this species ranges throughout Japan’s EEZ to the north and extends into the South China Sea to the south.  Some genetic studies suggest variation between fish in various parts of this region (Zeng et al. 2012),(Zhu et al. 2016), (Cheng et al. 2015) but the most recent and comprehensive study found a high degree of genetic homogeneity (Cheng et al. 2018). Pacific chub mackerel is a transboundary and straddling species and has been identified as a priority by the North Pacific Fisheries Commission (NPFC 2019)(NPFC 2019). Japan conducts separate annual assessments for the Pacific coast and Tsushima Current fisheries. 

  • A detailed stock assessment is conducted each year with updated data inputs. 
  • Biomass is currently at historically high levels due to extremely high recruitment in 2014. 
  • Allowable biological catch levels are considered by managers and stakeholders.
  • Japan management system will adopt in 2020 more robust reference points, based on MSY.


  • Stock assessments for the Pacific and Tsushima current fishery units are conducted each year with updated data inputs. 
  • Current fishing mortality is at the MSY fishing level.


Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

< 6