More information

Blue whiting

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
Informatie over vissoort
Lees meer

Cod-like fish

Cod-like fishes belong to the Gadidae family. This includes the Atlantic and Pacific cod, pouting, haddock, whiting, European pollock, Alaska pollock and saithe. They live near the seabed in coastal waters and in deeper waters. During the day, they aggregate in schools. At night, they separate to forage independently. Gadidae are omnivorous fish that feed on worms, molluscs, bivalves, crustaceans and small fish. They migrate over large distances to spawn and to hunt on large schools of herring and smelt.



Blue whiting

The blue whiting fishery is one of the largest fisheries in the world. However, since the majority of blue whiting is processed into surimi or fishmeal, it is seldom found in fish shops and stalls. This whiting can reach a maximum length of 50 cm and can weigh up to 830 grams. This species can be found at large depths of 150 m or more in the Northern Atlantic Ocean.

Blue whiting

Micromesistius poutassou

Atlantic Ocean, northeast (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Midwater otter trawl, Purse seines

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The stockStock:
The fish of a particular species reproducing in the same area in the same period. 
of blue whiting is currently healthy. In the last years, the fishing pressureFishing pressure:
Fishing pressure is a result of the fishing effort/amount of fishing on a stock, which determines the fishing mortality. Fishing mortality is the share of the fish stock that dies annually as a result of fishing.
on the stock has increased, which means the risk of overfishingOverfishing:
There is so much fish caught that the size of the stock has diminished so far that it can no longer produce a maximum sustainable yield. The size of the fish populations is insufficient to reproduce in the long term. 
may also increase.

Blue whiting is caught with midwaterMidwater otter trawls:
A fishing technique whereby conical nets are dragged through the water column and are kept open by large square 'otter planks'.  
otter trawls and [purse-seines]. These techniques have a relatively low bycatchBycatch:
Species caught next to species targeted for fishery. By-catches can consist of non-commercial species and species that are too small, and can be kept (this part is sometimes called by-product) or thrown back into the sea (discards). 
of protected or endangered species, and no negative impact on the seafloor.

There is a management strategy for the fishery on blue whiting in Norway, Faroe Islands, Iceland and in the EU. Unfortunately, no agreements have been made between these states regarding cooperative management.

Fish in season 

Fish is in season when the spawning period has ended, as the quality is then at its best.


ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.