Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus
monopterygius) aren't speedy, torpedo-shaped, open-ocean fish like real mackerels. They are actually members of the same family as greenlings, which are more at home in kelp beds and rock piles. Atka mackerel, named after one of the western-most Aleutian Islands, live only in the North Pacific, ranging from the Komandorskis to the Bering Sea, and Gulf of Alaska as far south as the northern tip of Vancouver Island. These bottom dwellers live in depths of 600 feet, eat copepods and other small crustaceans, and are eaten by larger fish, steller sea lions, and sea birds while spawning in the summer. Female Atka mackerel lay eggs in rocky crevices in the Aleutian shallows, and the males stand guard for a month and a half until the eggs hatch. Atka Mackerel are an important part of the commercial fishery in Alaska since they make up about two percent of the total annual commercial groundfish catch.