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The Four Differences of Mackerel and Salmon – Description and Nutritional Content

by Yoga Adi Priambodo

There are a lot of types of fish out there, you can’t even name each one of them. They grow in large abundant communities on each spot of the world. They can live in different environments. Some can live in the river streams, and the other couldn’t survive without the sea water. For example, the Salmons. As mentioned in amazing life of salmon, they can live even in both of them. They start their own lives in the strems of fresh water, and go to the ocean. Their journey doesn’t end there, as they will always go back to the place they were hatched for their future generations.

             Salmons are highly fished around the world. Many people would love to consume them, since their Omega 3 level is considerably high. But there’s one species of fish that has almost the same contents as Salmons. It’s the mackerels. These smaller fishes are even known to be the same as Salmons. But of course, both of them have their own differences. Let’s see them this article of the four differences of mackerel and salmon.


             First of all, we’re talking about the size here. Mackerels are known to have a body that smaller than salmons. In order to consider which is the biggest one of all them, we measured the size of the biggest species in both salmon and mackerel. In Salmon side, we have the Chinook or the King of Salmon, which included as one largest salmons in five types of salmon in the world, while in the mackerel there’s King Mackerel. Both of them are kings, but which is one is bigger. Turns out, Chinook is way bigger than King Mackerel. Looking at the record, the biggest Chinook that ever cought was 130lb or 59 kilograms. King Mackerel however, is able to reach about the maximum up to 20lb or 9 kilograms.

             From there, we know that catching Chinook, especially for the big sizes, is not that easy. It requires a lot of strength and patience. The commercial catch world record was caught in British Columbia, a 57kg gigantic chinook back in 70’s. However, there are also some species from both salmon and mackerel that having a size no bigger than other types of jellyfish out there.


             The color of both salmon and mackerel can be different. Mackerels, who spend all their time in the ocean have this kind of silvery color with the additional blue on the upper and some dots spread all over their upper body. Their color make them more undetected against the sea predators. Mackerels only have one color only. Meanwhile, salmons have more diverse colors. Each species even has their own unique motives. But, after some time, they will turn into silvery colors when the time for the ocean comes. They will begin to smolt once they are ready for it. And sometimes, it requires a lot of time to do that. Smaller salmons will need some preparations first for journey ahead.


One of the four differences of mackerel and salmon is the spawning. You know, the salmon’s life begins in freshwater. They spawn right away from the nest built by their mothers. But they’re not there forever, since they have to move to the ocean sometimes later. Mackerels in the other hand, spawn their egg in the ocean. They will not leave their habitat unlike salmons. That’s why, it can be said that mackerels can be suffered a lot from the adverse effects of fish bombing on sea. They’ll be more exposed to the illegal fishing activities.

The salmon fishes lay the eggs in a built reeds. Those reds may contain up to 5.000 eggs. Mackerels can release their eggs in a big number of 500.000 to 1,5 million during the spawning season which happens from April to September.

Nutritional Content

             Both of them can be included as types of ocean fish. But that doesn’t mean that they have the same nutritional content. Rich level of Omega 3 can be found in both of them, but salmon is the winner. Per 100 grams of serving, salmon has 2,115 grams of combined Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), while mackerel provides 1,84 grams. The bigger EPA and DHA mean better level of good cholesterol and decreased blood pressure.

            Even though it has lower level of Omega 3, mackerel has better Vitamin B12 and Calcium contents, which is really good for the children’s and teenager’s growth.

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