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Whiting (Merlangius merlangus) is endemic to the northeastern Atlantic, including the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In the north-west European shelf seas, it has been assessed and managed on the basis of four stocks: 1) the North Sea and English Channel, 2) the Skagerrak, 3) the West of Scotland and 4) the Irish Sea (ICES, 2013a). However, these stock units may not be representative, either of biologically discrete populations or of functional fishery areas (ICES, 2005). There is some evidence for north-south split in the North Sea and for links between Divisions IVa (North Sea) and VIa (West of Scotland), but stock identity remains an unresolved issue (ICES, 2014a).