Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has identified a new species of mackerel in Kerala waters.

Black-spotted new fish, which is round in shape, was named as Indian chub mackerel, Scomber indicus by CMFRI scientist team led by E M Abdussamad.

The study carried out in this regard showed that the new species was distinctly different from other members of the mackerel family both taxonomically and genetically. The meat texture of the fish is soft and tastes similar to Indian mackerel.

The newly identified Indian chub mackerel is distinct from other members of the mackerel family found earlier in the coastal waters and is expected to boost the fishery of the State. The species would become a potential resource to form a commercial fishery, said A Gopalakrishnan, Director of CMFRI.

While a catch of 10 tonnes of the Indian chub mackerel was recorded in the State in 2015, around 25 tonnes of the species was caught from Kerala coasts this year itself showing the growth of the fish in the State, he added.

Indian chub mackerel was first found in Gujarat coast in 2015, later it appeared in other areas of the west coast of India up to Kanyakumari. This year, the species is reported only from Kerala waters.

The fish is caught mainly by ring seines and trawls and small quantities by hooks and lines operated around knolls, said E M Abdussamad, Principal Scientist, CMFRI said.

A scientific article was published in the Indian Journal of Fisheries based on this study.