Menhaden, also known as bunker or pogy, is a species of fish that is found in the Atlantic Ocean along the eastern coast of North America. Here are some interesting facts about menhaden:
Appearance: Menhaden are small, oily fish that typically grow to be around 12 inches long. They have a silver-colored body with a bluish-green back.
Diet: Menhaden are filter feeders, meaning that they feed by straining plankton and other small organisms from the water. They are an important food source for many larger fish, including striped bass, bluefish, and tuna.
Importance: Menhaden are an important species in the marine ecosystem, playing a crucial role in the food chain. They are also commercially valuable, with their oil and fish meal being used in a variety of products, including pet food, fertilizer, and nutritional supplements.
Fishing: Menhaden are harvested by commercial fishermen using purse seine nets, which are large nets that are drawn around schools of fish. The catch is then processed into oil and fish meal at onshore processing plants.
Conservation: Menhaden populations have declined in some areas due to overfishing and habitat loss. As a result, there have been efforts to better manage the fishery and protect menhaden populations. In 2017, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission implemented a new management plan to help rebuild the population.
Overall, menhaden are an important and fascinating species that play a vital role in the marine ecosystem and the commercial fishing industry.