|The Atlantic menhaden, which is more
commonly called mossbunker or pogy, is a little-known fish outside of the
recreational and commercial fishing communities but, in spite of this lack
of notoriety, is one of the most important fish species found off the Atlantic
and Gulf coasts. The fish seldom exceed a pound or so in weight and have
extremely oily flesh. Because of their oiliness they are not considered
to be fit for human consumption.
Menhaden are found in very large schools in the warmer inshore and near shore waters, following an annual coastal migration each year. Their habit of traveling in large, densely-packed schools makes them a ready quarry for purse-seine equipped vessels. Their vast number support a very large fishery, providing both fish oil and meal for industrial/agricultural uses and bait vital to a large number of commercial and recreational fisheries.