The ling is a long, slender elegant fish with a distinctive single barbel on the chin. It has a rounded tail fin and two dorsal fins, the first fin is short and rounded while the second is long and of uniform height. There is a dark blotch on the rear side of both dorsal fins. Adult fish are usually silvery-cream in colour with brownish-green mottling on the back and flanks. Ling can grow to 2.2m in length but most are between 1-1.5m.
The Ling Rocks in South Cork are named after this fish and it is a good place to spot one. Ling are usually encountered by divers in crevices or ledges in rocky cliffs at depths below 10m. They mainly feed on smaller fish although they do sometimes also eat crustaceans and some echinoderms.
Ling are fairly common around the south and south-west of Ireland.