Menhaden Bunker Fish, Best 16 Notes

Menhaden bunker fish is a forage fish. They are also known as bunker and mossbunker. It is considered a member of the lobster family. This is a saltwater fish. They are found in coastal areas of North America and Northern Europe.

Menhaden bunker fish has a high concentration of oil, hence they caught it in large quantities to make use of this oil-rich ingredient in its nutritional value which could be used as human food or feed for livestock like pigs, chickens, and cows where these fish are eaten for its rich nutritional value by humans.


How to identify menhaden bunker fish?

It has a dark green shiny body with a whitish belly. It has small teeth and mostly have teeth in the upper jaw. Menhaden bunker fish have very rough and smooth skin that is partially covered with cirri which are fine scale-like appendages on the skin which help to recognize it as a member of the lobster family. This fish have small eyes and nostrils are near the end of their snout.

Menhaden Bunker Fish picture
Menhaden Bunker Fish picture

Behavioral habitat and characteristics

Menhaden bunker fish can live anywhere from brackish to freshwater. Menhaden bunker fish can grow up to 47 cm. Menhaden bunker fish can be found both in the deep sea, coastal areas, salt marsh, estuaries, and rivers.

This fish swim hundreds of miles a year as they follow their food sources in the coastal waters where they are located. They form large schools that migrate together. The school of menhaden bunker fish can be seen on the surface when they move their tails. They form schools in freshwater.

Feeding habits

Menhaden bunker fish eat plankton and algae that are at the bottom of the sea. It eats clams, mussels, crabs, shrimp, whelks, and snails. Menhaden bunker fish feeds on small crustaceans, polychaete worms, and sea bugs that live at the bottom of the water. They are also eat algae and phytoplankton that are in the water.

It filters the food when it feeds on the bottom of the sea. Menhaden bunker fish has no teeth in its mouth to chew its food, it sucks and shreds the food by closing its mouth to swallow the food. They are eaten by many animals including birds, seals, sea lions, and striped bass which use them as a source of food for their young.


Menhaden bunker fish is used as bait for other bigger fish. Menhaden bunker fish is used by fishermen to catch bigger fish, they use it as bait. These are used to make oil, fertilizer, and animal feed. The number of menhaden fish caught yearly is huge and they are being sold at a high price because they are being processed and sold as food.

Menhaden oil

Menhaden bunker fish captured in coastal areas oil has a strong taste that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and it is also used to make biodiesel, soap, liquid liners, and lubricants. Menhaden bunker fish oil can be used as animal feed. This is because menhaden bunker fish feeds are not mixed with other food to give the animals balanced nutrition.

Is it possible as farming?

Menhaden bunker fish farming is a new business being started. It has become an alternative to commercial fishing which gives a lot of money and at the same time affects the environment negatively as a result of catching menhaden fish when they are still very young and have not developed their mature form yet.

Menhaden Bunker Fish in sea
Menhaden Bunker Fish in sea

Special Considerations

Menhaden fish are very important in the ecosystem because they are the fish that helps to clean the water. They eat algae and smaller fish. They do not eat anything harmful to nature. If this fish were allowed to live, there would be no damage to nature when they were caught because, at present, these fish are caught for their oils and fats which can be used for energy and food.

However, review the full profile of the fish in the following table.

Best 16 Notes

Name  Menhaden bunker
Another name  Moss-bunker, bunker fish
LocationThe Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic coast of North America, and the North Sea  
Size Length  47 cm; Weight: 7 kg
Color  Dark green shiny body with a whitish belly
TypeForage fish
Life Span  3 years as a juvenile; 15 years as an adult.
Order  Clupeiformes
Groups  Included
GenusBrevoortia T. N. Gill, 1861  
GenusEthidium W. F.  


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