WhitingWhiting is a white, bony fish found in the Northern Atlantic off of Europe. The Whiting has firm, low-fat flesh with few bones. It has a mild flavor and can be served fresh or salted. The Romans used Whiting for salting.
Whiting is the most commonly caught fish in Europe, containing 22% of all catches, and is exported fresh to markets throughout the world. It is popular for preparing fish sticks. The North Sea produces 68% of all Whiting in commercial fisheries; Norway produces another 30%. Current demand has stressed production
The Whiting is also known as the common whiting (Merlangius merlangus) and is a species of fish in the cod, or Gadidae, family. Though some refer to other types of fish as “Whiting” as well, they most often refer to this species.
The Whiting has firm, low-fat flesh with few bones and a mild flavor that can be served fresh or salted. In particular, the Whiting found in Ireland is known as “Dab”. When it comes to size, the Whiting can reach up to a maximum of 36 centimeters and weigh approximately 1 pound by adulthood.
The native habitats of Whiting are inshore areas of temperate waters including off Europe. The Whiting is found along the Northern Atlantic coast of Europe, most specifically in waters off Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The Whiting is also found in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, extending as far north as Iceland and south into the Mediterranean.
The Whiting lives mostly on the sea bottom, including sandy and muddy areas and rock- and seagrass beds, at depths of up to 100 meters. It can often be found near schools of herring. The Whiting eats crustaceans, especially crabs and prawns, polychaetes, small bivalves. It feeds mainly during the day.
The Whiting is an important commercial fish species for Europe. In 2010 alone, 1.28 million tons of Whiting were caught in commercial fisheries worldwide, with North Sea production making up 68%. Norway produced another 30% of total Whiting.
Currently, demand for Whiting has stressed its population. It is considered a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List due to overfishing. The largest-selling point of Whiting is being one of the least expensive fish on the market, making it popular for preparing fish sticks.
The current management of the Whiting fishery is monitored by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). They have divided Whiting into 13 separate recruitment groups based on age structure, fishing mortality rates, and other factors.