The Atlantic menhaden is one of the most important fish species that inhabit the Chesapeake Bay. Menhaden, also known as bunker, are consumed by striped bass, bluefish, seatrout, osprey, bald eagles, herons, pelicans, gannets, and other wildlife.
In his book, The Most Important Fish in the Sea, Rutgers University Professor, Dr. H. Bruce Franklin chronicles the importance of Atlantic menhaden over the last four centuries. The work is often cited by groups working to protect and restore menhaden stocks.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board manages the resource through the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.