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Varieties The blue/Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus) and the shub mackerel (Scomber japonicus)
Packing Packaged in polythene bags in 100g, 125g and canned in 220g cans
Size 22 inches long weighing up to 10 pounds
Season All year
Storage Well refrigerated and cured. -15 degrees celsius
Transport Conditions Frozen, -15 degrees celsius
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Tunisia is on the north of Africa bordering the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean sea, with a population of about 11.53million people according to the world bank 2017. A large percentage of the population relies on the fishing industry as their source of income. Tunisia mackerel is consumed locally as well as sold in the export market.

The Mackerel belongs to the Scombridae family among other 30 different species. The fish inhabits the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. 

Over the years, the population of the Mackerels in the world has been fluctuating due to the increased demand. The adaptive behaviour of the Mackerel is characterized by vertical migration depending on seasons. The mackerel production in Tunisia makes up a significant percentage of its fish exports which earns the country foreign exchange. Mainly the Tunisia Mackerel is frozen whole for shipping. 2011 marked the highest export of the product amounting to $19,204.

The botanical name of Tunisia Mackerel is Scomber Scombrus. The fish exists in three species blue/Atlantic Mackerel (Scomber scombrus), the Scomber astralasiscus and the shub mackerel (Scomber japonicus). The Mackerel grows up to 22inches in length and weighing between 4 and 10 pounds. The mackerel body is cylindrical, slender with a fork-shaped tail. The fish has numerous fin-lets on the dorsal and lateral sides of the body, and two dorsal fins that are widely separated. 

Mackerel common species include the Scomber scombrus and the scomber japonicus. Its vertical stripes and forked tails distinguish mackerel. They mostly exist on temperate and tropical seas along the offshores and the coastlines.

The Mackerel is a meat-eater feeding on squids, shrimps, small fish and copepods. They swim in schools stretching up to 20miles. The fish is only active during the day, and they can swim very fast, reaching speeds of 5.5M per Second. They reproduce on shallow waters, and they can live for 25years.

Mackerel is a crucial fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is highly perishable more so along the tropics due to the high temperatures hence should be kept and transported under refrigeration or stored cured.

In Tunisia fishing of Mackerel is done by small both scale and large scale fishers. The fish is caught using drift nets, trawls and surrounded nets. The fishing takes place at night whereby the use of lampara lamp attracts them. In other cases, mackerel schools close to the surface are captured by purse seining. The technique makes use of spotter planes to locate the fish. Fishers then close in using highly sophisticated sonar. Fast auxiliary boats deploy purse seines around the school.

After harvesting, the fish is then cleaned, sorted, cured and refrigerated at sea. The fish is then packaged in polythene bags for export. The major importing countries include Japan, the USA, Spain, France, Italy, China, Germany, the UK, Denmark and Korea.

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