The Gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) is a small marine filter feeding fish belonging to the family Clupeidae. The range of Gulf menhaden encompasses the entirety of the Gulf of Mexico nearshore waters, with the exception of the extreme eastern Yucatan and western Cuba. Evidence from morphology and DNA analyses suggest that the Gulf menhaden is the Gulf of Mexico complement to the Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus). Both species support large commercial reduction fisheries, with Gulf menhaden supporting the second largest fishery, by weight, in the United States.
Illustration: © Diane Rome Peebles