Menhaden Population, Key to Ocean Health, is in Good Shape - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Menhaden Population, Key to Ocean Health, is in Good Shape

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(Photo:  AFP/Getty Images via CBS) (Photo: AFP/Getty Images via CBS)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)- One of the most important little fish in the sea is in good shape.

That's the analysis of the regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which reviewed the Atlantic menhaden population and found it remains healthy. The commission says the fish is not experiencing overfishing.

Atlantic menhaden are harvested by fishermen for use as bait and to make fish oil. They travel in schools that can number in the thousands and are a key piece of the ocean food web.

Fishermen have caught more than a billion pounds of menhaden every year since at least 1950. They are brought to shore all along the East Coast.

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