Identification & Biology: Small gray and silver fish related to both cod and hake.
Range & Habitat: There are several distinct stocks of Pacific whiting, Merluccius productus. The largest is the “outside” stock, which migrates from Baja California to British Columbia. In most years, this stock will produce landings of more than 250,000 tons. Smaller “inside” stocks of whiting are fished in Puget Sound and in the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia. Landings from this resource are normally about 20,000 tons. These fish are normally smaller than “outside” whiting.
Market Description: Pacific whiting is a member of the Merluccidae family, which includes more than a dozen species around the world that are marketed as either hake or whiting. Pacific whiting, Argentine hake and South African hake (Cape capensis) are the most abundant species in this family. Most whiting are less than 2 pounds in size.
The whiting’s low fat flesh is white, firm textured and delicately flavored. The fish weighs between 1 and 5 pounds and is marketed (fresh and frozen) both whole and in fillets. Whiting is also available salted and smoked.
Recommended Preparation: Their clean-tasting, white meat is easily adapted to a variety of applications, from fish and chips to pan frying or baking.