Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Menhaden, a forage fish, provides an important link in the ocean food chain. While these small fish feed on plankton, they are, in turn, fed upon by larger fish, marine mammals, and seabirds. Overfishing, however, has caused the menhaden population to plummet by about 90%, according to historic levels.
Menhaden are harvested by humans for oil and are ground up for use in livestock feed and pet food. A severe decrease in their numbers has deprived many sea animals of their main source of food, which has been especially harmful to bass.
Last year, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to reestablish the ocean’s menhaden population, but it’s yet to be seen whether real and effective action will be taken to reach this goal.
Watch a video here.
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