The Gulf Menhaden fish is a species of fish belonging to the family Clupeidae. It is a small marine filter-feeding fish and is endemic to the Gulf of Mexico where it is widespread and can be locally abundant.
The range of this fish encompasses the entirety of the Gulf of Mexico nearshore waters, with the exception of the extreme eastern Yucatan and western Cuba.
The Gulf Menhaden fish is dependent on estuarine habitat. It is targeted in the menhaden fishery, which is managed by the Gulf States Marine Fishery Commission.
Currently the fish is listed as Least Concern, and there is no indication of population decline at this time. However, read some more information about this fish species below.
Gulf Menhaden Fish Characteristics
The Gulf Menhaden fish has a fairly deep and compressed body. They are of a dull silver color with a greenish back.
They have a prominent black spot found behind the gill cover followed by a row of smaller spots, just like their Atlantic counterpart.
Their upper jaw is with distinct median notch, and there are no teeth. They have pelvic fin with rounded hind margin.
Average body length of the Gulf Menhaden fish is around 8 inches, but they can reach as long as 12 inches body length. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Gulf Menhaden fish are filter feeders. They collect food by filtering water through modifications of the branchial apparatus.
Diet of this fish actually depends on the size of it’s gill rakers, which change with their age. Larval feed on zooplankton, because the rakers are not well developed.
While the juveniles feed more on phytoplankton. Their gill rakers develop fully as they age, and they shift their diet to primarily consume phytoplankton.
The spawning of the Gulf Menhaden fish generally occurs offshore in winter.
Both eggs and larvae are pelagic and are carried into estuarine nursery areas via prevalling currents.
The Gulf Menhaden fish is mainly used for making fishmeal and oil. It is also used for food.
The Gulf Menhaden fishery is one of the largest in the United States. The fishery supported 4 of the nation’s top ten ports by volume of landings in the year of 2013.
The fish is mainly harvested for making fishmeal and fish oil based products. Smaller sized fish are also used as bait.
The Gulf Menhaden fish is also used for food. It is generally marketed fresh, canned or salted.
Average lifespan of the Gulf Menhaden fish is around 4 years, but it can reach a maximum age of 6 years. However, review full breed profile of this fish in the table below.
|Food, fishmeal, oil
|The fishery is one of the largest in the United States, mainly harvested for food, fishmeal and oil, also used for bait, marketed fresh, canned or salted, average 4 years lifespan
|Dull silver color with a greenish back