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Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
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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.




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. It is gaining in popularity on the markets because stocks of other cod species are in decline.



Merlangius merlangus

Atlantic Ocean, north-east (FAO 27)

Farming- / Catch method

Bottom otter trawl

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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.


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.


This fish is unwillingly caught while fishing for a different species. They are underused and should be eaten more.


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.

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