Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: mackerel (English), carite (Espanol), sierra (Espanol)
 
Scomberomorus concolor (Lockington, 1879)


Monterey spanish mackerel,     Gulf sierra


Elongate, strongly compressed; snout shorter than rest of head; no fatty eyelid; rear of top jawbone exposed; teeth strong, compressed, triangular or knife-like; 21-27 gill rakers; 1st  dorsal fin with XV-XVIII spines; 2 dorsals very close together; 6-9 finlets after 2nd  dorsal and 6-8 after anal fin; 2 small keels separated by third larger keel on tail base; corselet of scales obscure.


Male:  back metallic blue; flank and belly silver; without bars, stripes or spots. Female: darker, with 2 series of alternating gold spots on flank.


Size: 87 cm.

Habitat: coastal surface pelagic.

Depth: upper 15 m.

With two well separated populations, one of California as far south as the US/Mexican border and the other in the upper two thirds of the Gulf of California. Due to overfishing the California population is extinct and the Gulf of California population is restricted to a small area in the upper Gulf.
   
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Biology

It is now extinct outside the Gulf of California. Supports a commercial net fishery close inshore, in estuaries and coastal marshes (Ref. 9987). Its biology is almost completely unknown. This fishery operates on a relict of the original population.
  • Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen 1983 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.
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Distribution

Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, East Pacific endemic, TEP non-endemic

Regional Endemism: All species, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Temperate Eastern Pacific, primarily, California province, primarily, Continent, Continent only

Residency: Resident

Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California), Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
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Eastern Central Pacific: endemic to the northern Gulf of California.
  • Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen 1983 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.
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Eastern tropical Pacific, apparently now confined to the Gulf of California.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 0 (S) - 15 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 15 - 18; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16 - 20; Analsoft rays: 19 - 23; Vertebrae: 46 - 48
  • Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen 1983 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.
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Size

Length max (cm): 87.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 760 mm FL
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Max. size

77.0 cm FL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 33255)); max. published weight: 3,600 g (Ref. 168)
  • Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen 1983 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.
  • Collette, B.B. and J.L. Russo 1979 An introduction to the spanish mackerels, genus Scomberomorus. p. 3-16. In E.L. Nakumua and H.R. Bullis (eds.) Proceedings of the Mackerel Colloqium. Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission no. 4. (Ref. 33255)
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Diagnostic Description

Interpelvic process small and bifid. Swim bladder absent. Lateral line gradually curving down toward caudal peduncle. Intestine with 2 folds and 3 limbs. Males with no streaks or spots while females have two alternate series of brown spots on sides. Body entire covered with small scales, no anterior corselet.
  • Collette, B.B. and C.E. Nauen 1983 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 2. Scombrids of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of tunas, mackerels, bonitos and related species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(2):137 p.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is an epipelagic, neritic species. It feeds on euphosiids and clupieids (Valdovino Jacobo et al. 2006). Its biology is almost completely unknown. It occurs along the upper east coast of the Gulf of California in the fall months in shallow estuaries, and spawning occurs in late spring and early summer. This species may be a colder water fish than S. sierra, and may retreat to deep waters in summer. It spawns and swims with S. sierra. It moves from a feeding zone in the central Gulf of California from October to May, to a spawning zone in the northern Gulf of California from May to August (Valdovino Jacobo et al. 2006). The best place to currently find this species is in the spring around Isla San Jorge, 50 km south of Puerto Penasco.

This species has a sex ratio of 1:1. Based on otolith ageing, the maximum age is eight years (Valdovino Jacobo et al. 2006). Based on the length-weight curve published by Valdovino Jacobo et al. (2006), the length at 50% maturity is 36.5 cm fork length (FL) at three years. The generation length is therefore estimated to be 3.8 years.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

pelagic-neritic; oceanodromous (Ref. 51243); brackish; marine; depth range 15 - ? m (Ref. 9987)
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
  • Frimodt, C. 1995 Multilingual illustrated guide to the world's commercial warmwater fish. Fishing News Books, Osney Mead, Oxford, England. 215 p. (Ref. 9987)
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Depth range based on 13 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 37

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2 - 37
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Salinity: Marine, Brackish

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Surface, Near Surface, Mid Water, Water column only

Habitat: Water column

FishBase Habitat: Pelagic
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Migration

Oceanodromous. Migrating within oceans typically between spawning and different feeding areas, as tunas do. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Trophic Strategy

Feeding

Feeding Group: Carnivore

Diet: octopus/squid/cuttlefish, Pelagic crustacea, bony fishes
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A4cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2011

Assessor/s
Collette, B., Acero, A., Boustany, A., Canales Ramirez, C., Cardenas, G., Carpenter, K.E., Di Natale, A., Die, D., Fox, W., Graves, J., Hinton, M., Juan Jorda, M., Minte Vera, C., Miyabe, N., Montano Cruz, R., Nelson, R., Restrepo, V., Schaefer, K., Schratwieser, J., Serra, R. & Yanez, E.

Reviewer/s
Russell, B., Findley, L., Walker, H., Lea, B. & Polidoro, B.

Contributor/s

Justification
The extent of occurrence of this species is inferred to have reduced by more than 80% based on both historical and new information. Prior to 1961 there were records of this species in California and there is strong evidence that this species no longer occurs outside of the Gulf of California. Furthermore, within the Gulf of California, at least since the 1980s, the range of this species has retracted further to its present limits in the central and northern part of the Gulf of California. A greater than 80% reduction in the population is inferred over the past 40 years based both on the reduction in range and from the current levels of exploitation. Although the reduction in range occurred before the time window of three generation lengths (12 years), it is an indication that it is vulnerable to overfishing. Most of the population data available are mixed with Scomberomorus sierra. However, an analysis by the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Pesca in 2002 showed that with current fishing effort is expected to lead to a decline of 40% within the next 10 years unless fishing effort is reduced. As there are no indications of decline of fishing effort, this species is listed as Vulnerable.

History
  • 1996
    Endangered
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
  • 1996
    Endangered
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IUCN Red List: Listed, Endangered

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
This species was commercially caught in the 1870s and 1880s in Monterrey Bay, California, and was considered abundant in the Gulf of California in the 1970s (Collette and Russo 1985).

In the Gulf of California, this species is caught with Scomberomorus sierra, mainly using gillnets in areas close to the coast. Catches are reported as a combined group ("sierras") and therefore, it is not possible to determine a population trend for this species. However, catch data from Instituto Nacional de la Pesca, Mexico (2002) was used to forecast the probability of decline in this species population in the northern Gulf of Mexico based on projected effort. If effort were to continue the same as in 2002, the stock was predicted to decline 40% over the next 10 years. There is no indication that there have been declines in the effort in this fishery since 2002 (R. Nelson pers comm. 2011).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species global population is at risk of collapse (Quinonez-Velazquez and Montemayor-Lopez 2002). There is an important commercial fishery for both this species and S. sierra in the area where S. concolor occurs. The fishery is apparently having severe effects on the remnant of the S. concolor population. The commercial fishery operates from November to April in shallow coastal waters, bays, and estuaries and the combined catch of both species is 4,500 tons per year. The main method of harvesting this species is using gillnets. Both species are also caught by sport fishers.

The species spawns primarily in the northern Gulf of California, were there has been significant habitat loss due to cessation of flow from the Colorado River. It is important to note that two other highly threatened species occur in the area, the Totoaba (Toatoaba macdonaldi, family Sciaenidae) and the Vaquita (Phocoena sinus), a porpoise (Jamarillo-Legorreta and Taylor 2010, Jefferson 2010).
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Vulnerable (VU) (A4cd)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no known conservation measures for this species. Restrictions on the gill net fishery for Totoaba in 1975 (Jaramillo-Legorreta and Taylor 2010) may have provided some conservation benefit to this species. There is an urgent need for monitoring of this species, and for catch data to be dissagregated from S. sierra.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
  • Coppola, S.R., W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, N. Scialabba and K.E. Carpenter 1994 SPECIESDAB: Global species database for fishery purposes. User's manual. FAO Computerized Information Series (Fisheries). No. 9. Rome, FAO. 103 p. (Ref. 171)
  • Frimodt, C. 1995 Multilingual illustrated guide to the world's commercial warmwater fish. Fishing News Books, Osney Mead, Oxford, England. 215 p. (Ref. 9987)
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Wikipedia

Monterrey Spanish mackerel

The Monterrey Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus concolor, is a species of fish in the Scombridae family. It is endemic to Mexico.

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