Scad grows to a maximum of 60 centimeters. It spends the winter in coastal waters from the English Channel to West Africa, and in the Mediterranean Sea. In the spring and summer, large schools of scad swim into the southern North Sea to spawn. After spawning, they spread out throughout the North Sea region. During the day, they hunt in large schools, often together with herring, upon small sea animals found in the upper water columns. At night, they spread out and sink down to the bottom.