Mackerel is similar to tuna, though smaller in size. Spanish, Atlantic, and King mackerel are sustainable when caught wild with a hook-and-line or by purse-seine method, by which the fish is encircled in a pouch-like net that cinches closed with weighted rings. However, the bottom trawl method of catching Atlantic mackerel in certain U.S. waters can cause habitat destruction.

Like tuna, mackerel is a fatty fish, high in omega-3 acids. Fatty fish tends to spoil quickly, so when buying fresh, it is important to cook soon after purchase. Mackerel can be grilled, fried, barbecued, or baked, and its oily flesh can also withstand other methods of cooking that more delicate fish can?t, such as smoking, pickling, or marinating.