The International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and with the support of the Commission of the European Communities is developing a database (called FISHBASE) to summarize global information on living aquatic resources (fish, crustaceans and molluscs) in a standardized form to be made available on CD-ROM to institutions in developing countries. For all species, stocks and strains relevant to fisheries or aquaculture, FISHBASE summarizes information comparable in scope to that normally provided in species synposis such as those pubished by FAO. FISHBASE provides not only fast access to information on a given species but also allows for comparative studies between species groups or geographical areas. In more than 1200 fields, the database contains information on nonmenclature, distribtution, ecology morphometrics, population dynamics, reproduction, eggs and larvae, diseases, genetics, and aquaculture. The first version of FISHBASE will be distributed by the end of 1992.