Many types of fish have been given the common name Whiting. The fish originally known by that name in English is Merlangius merlangus, in the family Gadidae. In the USA it is known as the English Whiting.
In the USA, the name Whiting on its own is often used for various species of Hake, genus Merluccius. In Canada, it is used for the Alaska pollock Theragra chalcogramma. Like the true Whitings, these are all members of the order Gadiformes. In India and Australia, the name Whiting (though usually with an adjective before it) is used for various species of the genus Sillago, in the smelt-Whiting family Sillaginidae, which is in the order Perciformes.
The whiting Merlangius merlangus is an important food fish in the eastern North Atlantic, northern Mediterranean, western Baltic, and Black Sea. Until the later twentieth century it was a cheap fish, regarded as food for the poor or for pets, but the general decline in fish stocks means that it is now more highly valued. The other fish that have been given the name Whiting are mostly also food fish.