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July: The Essential Menhaden
Episode 167th July 2021 • Chesapeake Almanac • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
00:00:00 00:07:42

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Menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus) are low on the food chain. In fact, it has been said their high levels of protein and oil, their abundance, defenselessness, and dense schooling habit make them virtually designed to be eaten by larger fish in the Chesapeake Bay. But each year hundreds of millions of pounds of these fish (also called bunker, alewife, bogey, and bugfish) are caught by humans. Their uses range from bait to omega-3 capsules to animal feed to cosmetics and more. In this episode, John Page shares the big story behind the little fish on which much of the Bay's economy depends.


For more on Atlantic menhaden, see

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Chesapeake Almanac is provided by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation - Saving the Bay through Education, Advocacy, Litigation, and Restoration. Find out more about our work to save the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed's rivers and streams, and what you can do to help, at

These readings are from John Page Williams, Jr.'s book, Chesapeake Almanac: Following the Bay through the Seasons. The publication is available in print at Content copyright © John Page Williams, Jr. All rights reserved.