The short mackerel or shortbodied mackerel (Rastrelliger brachysoma) is a species of mackerel in the family Scombridae. Its habitat is the shallow waters of Southeast Asia and Melanesia, feeding mainly on small zooplankton. It is of major importance in the fisheries industry.
The short mackerel can attain a maximum length of 34.5 cm, but lengths of around 20 cm are more common. It reaches maturity at a length of about 17 cm. The species has the typical appearance of a medium-sized mackerel and is of silver colour. The snout is somewhat pointed.
The short mackerel is pelagic but prefers to feed in estuarine habitats, at surface temperatures of 20–30 °C (68–86 °F). It is a plankton feeder. The spawning season can extend from March to September, with individual populations spawning in batches.
The species is of major commercial importance, and is caught by various methods ranging from gillnetting to dynamite fishing.
This type of mackerel is also very important in the cuisine of other regions of Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines (where it is the most commercially important variety of mackerel), and Malaysia.
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