Species (Merlangius merlangus) of common marine food fish of the cod family (Gadidae), found in European waters and especially abundant in the North Sea. It feeds on invertebrates and small fishes. It has three dorsal and two anal fins; a chin barbel (a slender, fleshy feeler), if present, is very small. Whitings grow to less than 30 in. (70 cm) long. They are silvery, with a distinctive black blotch near the base of each pectoral fin. Several species of the family Sciaenidae are also called whiting. See alsowhitefish.