Any of several species of Atlantic coastal fishes (genus Brevoortia of the herring family), used for oil, fish meal (mainly for animal feed), and fertilizer. Menhaden have a deep body, sharp-edged belly, large head, and tooth-edged scales. Adults are about 15 in. (38 cm) long and weigh 1 lb (0.5 kg) or less. Dense schools of menhaden range from Canada to South America. When feeding, they swim with mouth agape and gill openings widespread to strain out plankton.
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