Atlantic mackerel

atlantic mackerel

Varðin is a leading provider of superior Atlantic mackerel, that is handled with the utmost care to ensure quality and freshness. We have a large mackerel quota for stable and reliable delivery.

Available forms: whole round, H/G, fillets, flaps
Freezing method: horizontal plate and IQF freezing
Method of catch:  trawler, seiner
Fat content: 
13% – 30%
Size  (grams) WR
200-400, 300-500, 400-600, 500+
Size (grams) H/G: 150+, 200+, 250+, 300+, 350+
Size (pcs/kg) flaps: 5-8, 8-12
Size (pcs/kg) fillets: 16-24
Packing (blocks per carton): 2 x 12,5 kg
Fishing season:
 August – January

Atlantic Mackerel is a fatty fish that becomes rancid quite fast if not handled and cooled properly. Here at Varðin, we have the experience and facilities to make sure, that it doesn’t happen. We have advanced cooling systems that keep the mackerel at -1,5 °C from catch to freezer. This ensures superior quality and freshness.

Atlantic mackerel catalogue

Gradings according to buyers’ specifications.

Blue whiting


About Atlantic mackerel

Atlantic mackerel, also known as scomber scombrus, is easily recognize by its blue/green tiger like back stripes. It has an average length of about 30 – 40 cm, although it can grow up to 70 cm. Mackerel is a fast swimmer and needs to be in constant motion in order not to sink, as it doesn’t have a swim bladder. Atlantic mackerel is a predatory fish that feeds on krill, crustaceans, small fish and is even prone to cannibalism.

It is a migratory fish. It spawns just east of the Irish coast during spring then migrates north west towards Iceland in the early summer. In late summer to early fall it moves eastward towards Norway. From fall to winter the it travels south along the Norwegian coast to the North Sea. During the winter the it heads back west to the Irish coast for spawning. Consequently, Atlantic mackerel is always close to the Faroe Islands during its annual migration.

A female mackerel can spawn up to 450.000 eggs in a single spawning season. The hatching time depends on sea temperature. Most Atlantic mackerel spawn in temperate waters at about 9 – 12 °C.

atlantic mackerel migration

At this temperature hatching usually takes about a week. The newly hatched larvae are incapable of swimming, instead they drift with the pelagic current for a month. Then enters the post larval stage. At night the young mackerel go to the surface to feed, while at day they descends deeper into the ocean to avoid natural predators. After approx. 40 days the Atlantic mackerel has grown to about 5 cm in length. At this stage, the young mackerel as taken on the distinct mackerel shape and colors, and they join other mackerel in the annual migration. Atlantic mackerel reaches sexual maturity at 2 years of age and can live up to 17 years.

Atlantic mackerel rich in omega-3

Nutrition and health benefits of Atlantic mackerel

Atlantic mackerel is excellent for human consumption and is one of the healthiest fish one can eat. It has high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium, antioxidants and vitamins A, D, B12 which have numerous health benefits. The vitamin levels vary depending on the fat content.

It is a so-called Superfood and contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than salmon, and not to mention, it’s way more affordable. One serving provides roughly 600% of the minimum daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some of the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Help regulate blood cholesterol
  • Help reduce pain and inflammation due to arthritis
  • Improve mental health and help slow the rate of cognitive decline

Atlantic mackerel contains the antioxidant, coenzyme Q10, which reduces risk of cancer, slows effects of aging and boosts metabolism. It also contains high levels of selenium, which strengthens one immune system.

Culinary versatility of Atlantic mackerel

Atlantic mackerel tastes best when caught during autumn and winter because of ideal fat content and intermuscular fat distribution, which results in great taste and texture.

It a versatile fish and can therefore be prepared in numerous ways and can for example be cooked, fried, grilled and smoked. It lends its self especially well to being smoked or grilled because its juicy and fatty meat.

Try Faroese chef, Gutti Winther’s recipe for grilled Atlantic mackerel with cabbage and a citrusy cream dressing.

Mackerel is a popular fish in Asian cuisine. High quality Atlantic mackerel is considered a delicacy in countries such as Japan and South Korea. These countries are pioneers when it comes to developing new, exciting and innovative mackerel recipes.

Grilled Atlantic mackerel