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Definition of MENHADEN
: a marine fish (Brevoortia tyrannus) of the herring family abundant along the Atlantic coast of the United States where it is used for bait or converted into oil and fertilizer; also: any of several congeneric fishes
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.