MENHADEN, economically one of the most important fishes of the United States, known by a great number of local names, " menhaden " and " mossbunker " being those most generally xvm. 5 in use. The Indians and white settlers used it as a manure, and the name is Narragansett for " fertilizer." Its scientific name is Clupea (or Alosa) menhaden and Brevoorlia tyrannus. It is allied to the European species of shad and pilchard, and, like the latter, approaches the coast in immense shoals, which are found throughout the year in some part of the littoral waters between Maine and Florida, the northern shoals retiring into deeper water or to more southern latitudes with the approach of cold weather. The average size of the menhaden is about 12 in. It is too bony and oily, for a table-fish, but is used as bait for cod and mackerel. A large fleet is engaged in the fishery; and a great number of factories extract the oil for tanning and currying, and for adulterating other more expensive oils, and manufacture the refuse into a valuable guano.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)