Etymology
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menhaden (n.)

kind of herring-like fish abundant off the East Coast of the U.S., 1792, from Algonquian (probably Narragansett) munnawhateaug (noted from 1643), literally "they fertilize," because the abundant little fishes were used by the Indians as fertilizer. Century Dictionary reports it had at least 30 different popular names.

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Definitions of menhaden

menhaden (n.)
shad-like North American marine fishes used for fish meal and oil and fertilizer;
Synonyms: Brevoortia tyrannis
From wordnet.princeton.edu