Jack Mackerel

Trachurus declivis (Common Jack Mackerel)
Trachurus murphyi (Peruvian Jack Mackerel)

Jack Mackerel



Two similar species are marketed as Jack Mackerel, T. murphyi grows larger and has more bony, enlarged scales extending from the base of the tail along the midline of the body.

Available wild caught they are free-swimming marine fish found from bays and harbours to depths of about 500m, mainly schooling over the continental shelf, and caught mostly off southern Australia as bycatch of demersal and midwater trawls, as well as in Tasmanian coastal waters by purse seine. They are a similar size and shape to their close relative, Yellowtail Scad.

Other Names

Cowanyoung, Horse Mackerel, Scad.


Carangidae (Trevallies).


Supply is limited with peaks in December - February.

Size and Weight

Commonly 25-40cm and 200g-600g, but can grow to at least 64cm and 1.6kg.


Low priced.


Trevallies (including Bigeye, Black, Bluefin, Bluespotted, Diamond, Giant, Golden and Silver Trevallies), Black Pomfret, Darts, Queenfishes, Samsonfish, Turrum, Yellowtail Kingfish, Yellowtail Scad.

To Buy

Sold whole (gilled and gutted); look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell.

To Store

Make sure fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Lay in a single layer on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.

To Cook

Average yield is 35%. Has a strong flavour, oily, dry, medium-textured flesh with fine flakes. The scaled thin skin can be left on.

Cooking Methods

Deep-fry, pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle. Marinating prior to cooking helps prevent drying out, as does wrapping in foil or banana leaves if baking or barbecuing.

Goes Well With

Basil, caraway, chilli, coriander, cumin, curry, fennel, garlic, ginger, herbs (such as coriander, dill, French tarragon, parsley, sage, thyme), lemon, lime, olive oil, onion, oregano, sesame oil, soy sauce, tamarind, teriyaki sauce, tomato, vinegar, wasabi, white wine.


Australian Salmon, Blue Mackerel, Mullet, Yellowtail Scad.




Potted Fish Paste

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