King George Whiting

Latin name: Sillaginodes punctata

Common name: Whiting

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Wild Caught


Key Facts

  • King george whiting are caught in VIC, SA and WA. Populations are mainly considered healthy.
  • The major Australian king george whiting fishery operates in SA, where hand line, haul seine and demersal gill net fishing methods are used.
  • All SA king george whiting populations are now in healthy condition, with some populations recovering from historic depletion after implementation of proactive management measures and a reduction in fishing pressure.
  • King George whiting grows and reproduces quickly and so is relatively resilient to fishing pressure.
  • The fishing methods used generally have low impacts on marine habitats and threatened species.

Cooking & Recipes


King George Whiting is the most highly-regarded of all the Whitings, prized for its firm, clean, sweet-tasting white flesh and its delicate flake. Very fresh specimens can be thinly sliced or diced and eaten raw as sashimi or in a ceviche. They are great to pan fry or BBQ whole or as fillets. Whiting can become dry if overcooked, so a coating such as a crumb or batter is often used to protect the flesh from direct heat. Try pan frying or deep-frying after coating. Whole fish can be baked in the oven with a little oil, lemon and salt. Whiting’s delicate flesh also suits it to steaming, which will help keep it juicy and moist.

More information

  • SA Marine Scalefish Fishery (202t in 2020)

King George Whiting are found throughout southern Australian waters. The juveniles are found in shallow southern waters and migrate to deeper waters when they reach adulthood. The species predate on worms, molluscs and crustaceans. King George whiting are caught mainly in SA and VIC, with very small catches in WA. A number of different populations have been identified.

King George whiting are predominantly caught in SA using hand lines, but haul seine, and demersal gillnet fishing methods are also used.

Commerical fishing pressure has reduced significantly in two of the major SA king George whiting fisheries in recent years. The apparent recovery of the Gulf St. Vincent/Kangaroo Island and Spencer Gulf whiting fisheires over the last decade are welcome, and represent proactive management. There is now acceptable evidence that all three SA king george whiting fisheries  are in healthy condition.

King George whiting is caught on lines and in haul nets in coastal waters. These types of fishing methods generally have low impacts on marine habitat and threatened species, although increased reporting by independent fisheries observers would provide additional confidence in reporting of endangered species interactions.

Marine parks throughout SA’s coastal waters provide a small but highly valuable additional protection for fish populations, bycatch species and endangered wildlife, and vulnerable habitats.