Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of pelagic fish, mostly from the family Scombridae. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas, mostly living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment. Mackerel species typically have vertical stripes on their backs and deeply fork.
Over 30 different species, principally belonging to the family Scombridae, are commonly referred to as mackerel. The term "mackerel" is derived from Old French and may have originally meant either "marked, spotted".