Indo-Pacific King Mackerel / Seerfish
Whole Indo-Pacific King Mackerel [Sermai, Spotted Seer Fish, Vanjaram, Neimeen, Ayakkoora (India); Pla xinthri (Thai); Scomberomorus guttatus   |   very similar and also called Surmai: Streaked Seerfish; Scomberomorus lineolatus   |   also Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel; Konem, Vanjaram, Anjal (India); Tanigue (Philippine); Tenggiri (Malay); Pla xinthri (Thai); Scomberomorus commerson]

This Spanish Mackerel is found in the Indo-West Pacific and Persian Gulf. Its range extends north to the southern tip of Japan and south through the Java Sea. It can grow to 30 inches but is commonly 21 inches. It is distinguished by round dots about 1/4 inch diameter on the sides above the centerline. Red List status NE (Not Evaluated).   Photo by Hamid Badar Osmany distributed equivalent to license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v3.0 unported. attribution required.

Streaked Seerfish (dashes instead of spots - sometimes) grows up to 37 inches but has a narrower range (India to Borneo and north to North Vietnam). IUCN Red Listed LC (Least Concern).

Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel (vertical bars all along the sides) grows a lot larger, to 94 inches, and has the same range as the Indo-Pacific, but is less common through most of the range. It is ICUN Red Listed NT (Near Threatened), and there have been reports of ciguatera poisoning.

More on the Mackerel Family.


These Spanish Mackerel are prized eating fish in their native range, much milder than Atlantic mackerel and with excellent flavor. None of them are currently available in North America.

If you are on the Pacific Coast of North America, the very similar Spanish Mackerel, Pacific Sierra is a very suitable substitute. It is similarly mild, easily available, and even has spots like the Surmai.

If you are on the East Coast of North America, the Atlantic King Mackerel, a larger Spanish Mackerel of similar characteristics to the Narrow Barred Spanish Mackerel, would be your best substitute.

Prep & Cooking:   See our Pacific Sierra page. This fish and the Seerfish are so similar that page should be valid for them.

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