Mesodemersal. Abundant in cold and temperate shelf areas, forms large schools near the surface. They overwinter in deeper waters but move closer to shore in spring when water temperatures range between 11° and 14°C. Mainly diurnal, it feeds on zooplankton and small fish. In spring, the diet of the juveniles consisted of euphausiids, crustacean larvae and other zooplankton, whereas euphausiids formed 90% of the diet in adults (Ref. 55912). In autumn, juveniles ate hyperiids and gelatinous zooplankton, adults feed on blue whiting (Ref. 55912). Preyed upon by porbeagles, dogfish, Atlantic cod, bluefin tuna, swordfish, porpoises and harbour seals. Parasites of the species include monogenean, Kuhnia scombri on gills; trematodes, Podocotyle atomon and P. simplex; and nematodes, Anisakis simplex and Haematractidium scombri (Ref. 5951).