Story: Coastal fish

Jack mackerel

Jack mackerel

Jack mackerel (Trachurus novaezelandiae), also known as horse mackerel and yellowtail, are called hautere by Māori. They eat plankton and prey on small pelagic fish. They typically grow to around 50 centimetres and may live to 28 years. They school in midwater, ranging from bays to oceanic islands between Cape Rēinga and Foveaux Strait, and around the Chatham Islands. Jack mackerel belong to the family Carangidae which also includes trevally, kōheru, and yellowtail kingfish. They can be distinguished from kōheru by their lateral line, which has a distinct kink midway down the side of the body.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Coastal fish - Plankton-feeding open-water fish', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 September 2023)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 12 Jun 2006