The Atlantic menhaden is an important species for U.S. commercial fishermen. Menhaden are landed primarily for reduction into fishmeal and fish oil.
A menhaden bait fishery supports other commercial fisheries such as American lobster and blue crab). Menhaden are also marketed for bait in recreational fisheries.
One of the largest fishing operations for menhaden on the Atlantic Coast is the purse seine fleet operated by Omega Protein out of Reedville, Virginia.
Other fisheries occur mostly in state waters, where small scale commercial fishermen harvest menhaden with gillnets and pound nets.
Atlantic menhaden are managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).