Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice


Merlangius merlangus
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Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Cultivation- / Catchmethod

Bottom otter trawl

Explanation assessment

Whiting is a whitefish and direct family of cod, just like pollock, saithe, and saithe. Whiting lives close to the bottom, to dephts of 100 m. It is a long-lived codlike species, that can reach up to 20 years.

Whiting is eaten much in England and France, in the Netherlands it is an undervalued species. More than 80% of the whiting catch is discarded, circa 2300 tonnes per year. The survivability of these discards is low. Fishing with bottom trawls also directly disturbs the bottom life. Intensive fishing with a bottom trawls leads on the long-term to a changed species composition in sea.

Whiting has a quota and fishing mortality is regulated by catch limits (TAC, Total Allowable Catch), minimum landing size and gear regulations. Whiting was in 2017 partly under the landing oblication and from 2018 all catching methods are under the new law.




Whiting, also known as merlin, is a fish species from the cod family. Whiting can be found in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean, from Iceland and the Barents Sea in the north, down to Portugal in the south. Whiting lives close to the seabed, at depths between 30 – 100 m. Whiting has a longer life-span than other cod species, it can get up to 20 years old. Whiting is mostly consumed in England and France. Whiting is gaining in popularity on the markets because stocks of other cod species are in decline.