Publication Date


Series Number

Fisheries Research Report No. 248


Government of Western Australia Department of Fisheries




1035 - 4549


The whiting family (Sillaginidae) is common in nearshore waters of south-western Western Australia (WA) where it is highly valued by recreational and commercial fishers. The importance of these species to recreational fishers is reflected in this category of fishes being ranked as the most or 2nd most retained finfish species group by boat- and shore-based fishers in several recreational fishing surveys in WA. Whiting are commercially important in a number of fisheries, with total state catches averaging over 200 tonnes per annum since 1980. The composition of the whiting catch, however, is largely unknown, with a number of whiting species potentially contributing substantially to the overall catch of this family. The recreational and commercial fisheries that capture whiting can therefore be considered very data-limited, due to the lack of species-specific data that prohibit a robust assessment of the status of the stocks of the different whiting species. The main purpose of this report is to determine the species composition of whiting landings caught recreationally and commercially in south-western WA. This report then investigates the stock status of the key (most abundant) whiting species identified in the recreational catch.

Number of Pages



West Coast Bioregion - Fisheries - Western Australia; South Coast Bioregion - Fisheries - Western Australia; Whitings; Sillaginidae; Sillaginodes punctata; Sillago bassensis; Sillago burrus; Sillago robusta; Sillago schomburgkii; Sillago vittata; Identification; Fishery biology; Recruitment; Stock assessment; Fisheries; Commercial fishing; Recreational fishing; Catch and effort; Catch composition; Western Australia