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EFSA - European Federation Of Sea Anglers

whiting (MERLANGUS MERLANGUS)

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WHITING / MERLANGUS MERLANGUS
2 4 1.42 3.2 Isle of Wight England 110199 R. Barron
4 8 1.56 3.7 Bridport England 021185 C. Roberts
6 12 2.04 4.8 Newhaven England 281275 B. Constable
*AT AT 3.06 6.12 Falmouth England 81 N. Croft
*SH SH 1.82 4.0 Abbotsbury England 84  T. Dell

The whiting (MERLANGUS MERLANGUS)

is similar in appearance to its larger relatives the cod, the haddock, the coley and the pollack. It has three dorsal fins separated by small gaps, the third fin extending almost to the tail fin. The tail is not forked, having almost a square end. The two anal fins are very close together, nearly touching one another and, together with the anterior fin, are elongated. The pectoral fin is also long and projects beyond the base of the anal fin. The whiting’s upper jaw projects slightly beyond the lower, and the lateral line is continuous along the length of the body. In colour, individual fish vary quite a lot, and there is often a small dark blotch at upper base of the pectoral fin.

The whiting ranges from the eastern North Atlantic to the south eastern Barents Sea, and from Iceland to Portugal. It is also found in the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, and Adriatic Sea, but is uncommon in the northwestern Mediterranean.

Whiting (MERLANGUS MERLANGUS) - European Federation of Sea Angling

This fish is a bottom-dweller in water no deeper than 200 metres. It prefers mud and gravel beds but is also recorded on rocky bottoms. The young fry spend about a year in much shallower waters of no more than 30m depth, before migrating to the adult feeding grounds.

The fish matures at between three and four years of age, and spawning takes place at a depth of 20 to150m. The time of the spawning varies from location to location: from January to spring in the Mediterranean; from January to September in the area between the British Isles and the Bay of Biscay; and throughout the year in the Black Sea.

A large female can produce up to one million eggs. The eggs float in the open ocean and the larval whiting swim with other sea plankton until they have attained a length of around 10 cm. The fish grow quickly, with females growing faster than males, and can live to about ten years of age. The diet of the whiting consists of bottom-living organisms, such as crabs, shrimps, small fish, molluscs, worms, squid and cuttlefish.

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