What are menhaden?

Menhaden are silvery, herring-like fish that travel in large schools along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States. Plankton-eaters, menhaden attain a weight of about three-quarters of a pound.

Flesh is oily and considered inedible for humans. The fish are caught by purse-seine nets in shallow water and processed into oil for cosmetics and fish meal for animals, particularly for poultry. Menhaden support the largest fishery by volume and the eighth most profitable fishery in the United States.