King George Whiting

King George Whiting

pinungana (Fish)
In palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines, with thanks to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

Sillaginodes punctatus (King George Whiting)


2021/22 King George Whiting Status (Released March 24)

Summary King George Whiting is an emerging species that has attracted increasing interest from both the commercial and recreational sector. The current level of fishing pressure on King George Whiting within Tasmanian waters is unlikely to cause the biological stock to become recruitment impaired. However, local impacts on stocks could still be considerable. Pre-emptive monitoring and management are needed if interest in this species continues to increase.
Importance Minor
Stock Tasmanian Scalefish Fishery
Indicator(s) Catch, effort and CPUE trends
Managing Jurisdiction State (Tasmania)

King George Whiting are found in Australia’s southern coastal waters, including northern Tasmania. This species is associated with sand and seagrass habitat. Juveniles commonly aggregate in large schools of similar-sized fish over patches of sand among sheltered, shallow seagrass (Graba-Landry et al. 2022), while adults tend to inhabit more exposed sandy areas (Edgar 2008). Commercial and recreational exploitation of King George Whiting in mainland state waters is well established. State catches are supporting a small but developing commercial fishery in northern Tasmania. Commercial operators use mostly beach seine gear in exposed coastal waters near Stanley in the northwest and in the Tamar estuary in the north. King George Whiting are also caught commercially around Flinders Island using beach seine. While commercial catch and effort have been increasing in northern Tasmania since 1995, catch is still relatively low and the increase is minor compared with the expansion of the recreational fishery. Recreational fishing likely accounts for the majority of landings. Although reported to have occurred in northern Tasmanian waters for at least 100 years, King George Whiting is a potential range-extending species, with some evidence of increasing numbers and distribution in Tasmanian waters, including possible movement down the east coast south of St Helens (Graba-Landry et al. 2022).

The full 2021/22 Scalefish Assessment, released March 2024, can be found at the link:

Latest Scalefish Assessment

Learn more about what each stock status classification means on our Stock Status Classifications Information Page:

Stock Status Classifications

Learn more about fisheries terms and concepts on our Science Information page:

Science Terms and Concepts

Scalefish Fishery

Catch, Effort and CPUE

Risk-Based Framework

Social and Economic Indicators