Profile updated on 25 January 2023





Scomber japonicus


Pacific chub mackerel, chub mackerel, macarela

Pacific chub mackerel has a wide Indo-Pacific distribution (Froese and Pauly 2019). In the Northeast Pacific, the distribution spreads from Southeastern Alaska to Mexico, including the Gulf of California (Crone et al. 2019). Originally, biological samplings of physical characteristics determined that five populations were occurring: California and British Columbia, northern Baja California, central Baja California, the Cape San Lucas region, and the Gulf of California (Roedel 1952, at (Hernández et al. 2000)). Another study found only two stocks, from southern California to Vizcaíno Bay and the other for the entire Gulf of California, overlapping at Magdalena Bay (Gluyas-Millán and Quiñonez-Velázquez 1996). Three spawning aggregations exist: one in the Gulf of California and two in Baja California, one of which extends to Southern California and is exploited by the US and Mexico (Crone et al. 2019). A northwards migration to feeding waters off the coast of Oregon and Washington states and a southwards return to spawning areas off the coast of Southern and Baja California connect fisheries in both countries (Crone et al. 2019).

Therefore, Mexico and the US share a population (spawning aggregation) of mackerel, but information from the Mexican side is scarce, whereas the US performs assessments on it every two years (Hill and Zwolinski 2021).


  • The chub mackerel, together with other small pelagic species, is managed through a multispecific management plan (DOF 2012). In this document, several measures were described: temporal and spatial closures to protect the juvenile portion of the stock (DOF 2012)(DOF 2021), control the access to the fishery, and creation of committees to develop new tools for each of the stocks included in the fishery (DOF 2012). Finally, a harvest control rule was defined, limiting the target catch to a fraction of the biomass above the limit biomass (DOF 2012).


Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance: