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Whiting ( Merlangius merlangus )

Order : Cod-like (Gadiformes)
Family : Cod (Gadidae)
Genre : Merlangius
Type : Whiting
Scientific name of the  genus
Garsault , 1764
Scientific name of the  species
Merlangius merlangus
( Linnaeus , 1758)

The whiting ( Merlangius merlangus ), and whiting , whiting or Gadden called, is a species from the family of cod (Gadidae). It occurs in the Northeast Atlantic from the Barents Sea and the waters off Iceland to Portugal , in the North Sea , the Kattegat and the western Baltic Sea as well as in the northern Mediterranean and the Black Sea .


Whiting have an elongated, laterally slightly flattened body. They usually reach a length of 30 to 40 and a maximum of 70 centimeters and a weight of up to three kilograms, whereby the Rogner (females) are generally larger. The basic color is very variable and ranges from yellowish brown and olive brown to greenish to dark blue. The flanks are yellowish-gray, the belly silvery-white. Often there is a dark spot over the base of the pectoral fins . The relatively small head has a clearly protruding upper jaw and a small, worm-like barb on the chin, which in adult animals regresses until it disappears completely. The scales are small and have pores above the sideline on the head.

The back has three dorsal fins with 14 to 17, 16 to 19 and 18 to 22 soft rays. The pectoral fins with 19 or 20 rays sit behind the six-rayed ventral fins , which sit directly under the gill cover . Of the two anal fins , the first with 28 to 32 rays is significantly larger than the second with 19 to 22 rays. Whiting swim subcarangiform .

Life expectancy is an average of 10 and a maximum of 20 years.

Way of life

Whiting prefer to stay in open water over muddy ground at water depths of 30 to 100 meters. Various crustaceans, molluscs, fish and worms serve as food. The reproduction takes place, depending on the population, in spring or all year round. The spawn is released into open water in groups. Larvae and juveniles stay near the coast near jellyfish and do not migrate into the open sea until they are around one year old.


Whiting is an important food fish that is mainly caught with trawls and sold fresh, dried, cured or frozen.

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