A 3-oz. cooked portion of Pacific jack mackerel provides 171 calories, 9 g of fat and 2 g of saturated fat. This modest serving size provides 1,759 mg of omega-3 fats. It is nearly as rich in omega-3 fats as Chinook salmon, which provides 1,822 mg per 3-oz. serving. Canned jack mackerel is the highest in omega-3 fats of all mackerel fish. One ounce of canned jack mackerel, drained, solids only, provides 385 mg of omega-3 fats.
In other words, north-east Atlantic mackerel fishery has now joined the three quarters of worldwide stocks that are either declining or being fished beyond a sustainable level. In European waters, blighted by the disastrous Common Fisheries Policy, the toll is even worse, with more than 80 per cent of fisheries over-exploited.
There are many species of mackerel fish. The jack mackerel is a common type of fish found in the Pacific coastal waters. It is also called the blue jack mackerel, Californian jack mackerel, Pacific jack mackerel or saurel fish. Because it is a fattier fish, the Pacific jack mackerel offers nearly as much omega-3 fats per serving as salmon but is less expensive.
These could be in operation by the summer, when new quotas are due to be set, directed at imports of mackerel and fishmeal to feed farmed salmon. But – as the former Daily Telegraph writer turned fisheries campaigner, Charles Clover, points out – a “mackerel war” might backfire, since much of the Icelandic and Faroese catch is landed, and processed, in Britain.