A female mackerel can lay up to 500,000 eggs at a time, but sometimes they lay up to 1.5 million eggs at once. Mackerel eggs and larva are free floating, and the larva and young mackerel feed on zooplankton.
Mackerel can be identified by their long, slender bodies and forked tails. They also have two finlets behind the second dorsal and anal fins. Mackerel are important because they are commonly used for human consumption and are an integral part of the marine food chain. Mackerel are rich in protein, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins. They are also much lower in mercury than many other fish, making them safe to consume twice a week, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency .