FishBase is the global premier Biodiversity Information System on all fishes of the world (finfishes), covering over 32,000 species.
||FishBase is a one-stop website for fish-related natural resource management both for conservation and exploitation issues. As a Global Species Database, it records a wide range of information on all fish species currently known in the world about their biology, ecology, taxonomy, life history, trophic features, population dynamics and uses, as well as historical data reaching back 250 years, citing at least 47,000 references. More than 51,000 images are gathered for more than half of the species, with the help of many contributors. FishBase provides also a range of country, regional, and ecosystem-specific information. State of the art analytical and graphical tools allow users to transform raw data into information that can be used to assess fisheries and identify management techniques to restore depleted fish stocks. It is used extensively by fisheries managers and scientists in the developing world to estimate important biological parameters like mortality, annual reproductive rate, growth, and status of fish stocks.|
FishBase works closely with the Catalog of Fishes of W.N. Eschmeyer (California Academy of Science), the world taxonomy and nomenclature authority database for fishes. A major issue is to sustain the quick integration of the newly described species (still between 300 and 500 per year during the past ten years), and the changes from the most recent taxonomic revisions.
Importantly, and aside over 85,000 scientific synonym names, almost 300,000 common names are recorded by language and by country for 299 languages in 258 countries for about 26,500 species, including non-Roman scripts such as Arabic, Farsi, Cyrillic, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Gurmukhi, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Nepali, Bangla and Hangeul.
FishBase is linked with many other global initiatives in Biodiversity Informatics either by extracting data such as from GBIF and OBIS for occurrences, IUCN Red-List for threat status, or by providing information to Catalogue of Life, GenBank, FishBoL (Barcode of Life), Encyclopedia of Life, IUCN, among others.
As the world’s leading Biodiversity Information System on fishes, FishBase has collaborated with more than 100 countries, with scientists, museums and institutions, and also with amateur naturalists. Within the FishBase Consortium, and together with WorldFish, its scientific integrity is ensured by 8 other institutions namely, IFM-GEOMAR (Kiel, Germany), University of British Columbia (UBC, Canada), Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France), Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren, Belgium), Swedish Museum of Natural History (Stockholm, Sweden), Aristotle University (Thessaloniki, Greece), Chinese Academy of Fishery Science (Beijing, China), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome, Italy). The FishBase Consortium constitutes the Scientific Committee of the FishBase Information and Research Group (FIN), a Philippine NGO employing the core encoding and development team.
In 2004, the FishBase Team, based at Los Baños, Philippines, won the prestigious CGIAR Science Award for Outstanding Scientific Support Team for their contribution in the creation and development of this information system, an award shared together with its wide variety of institutional partners and from almost 2,000 individual collaborators from all over the world.
Photo Credits – John E. Randall