Whiting is the common name for several species of roundfish from the genus Merluccius. The most important commercial species, the Pacific whiting, produces a delicate white meat commonly used to make minced fish and imitation crabmeat.
Pacific whiting grow up to 3 feet in length and live up to 15 years but do not begin reproducing until they are 3 years old. They spawn off the central and southern California coast in the late winter and early spring. Whiting feed on shrimp and smaller fish and are prey for sharks, marine mammals, squid, albacore and other large fish. Overfishing reduced their population at the turn of the 21st century, but the United States and Canada initiated sustainable harvest quotas that allowed the population to recover.