Why Are Menhaden "The Most Important Fish in the Sea"?

Small, silvery, and packed with nutritional might, menhaden have often been referred to as the "most important fish in the sea." And for good reason. Menhaden are a vital link in the Chesapeake Bay's food web for fish, marine mammals, and birds.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) 2017 amendment to consider the species' importance to the food change by establishing ecological reference points was adopted by the Commission in August 2020.

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