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Fishbase WWW, The Online Database of Fish Taxonomy and Occurrence
Entry ID: 01-FishBase-99
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Abstract: (Summary adapted from the FishBase website)

The FishBase WWW is based on the 1995 version of the FishBase CD-ROM,
'' produced by ICLARM in collaboration with the
FAO and funded by the EU. The WWW version, which was prepared by D. A. Gee of
the Species 2,000 Project, contains all records of fin fish species in the
FishBase CD-ROM but with only a limited set of information on each fish. The
FishBase CD version should be consulted for more detailed information on
distributions, ecology, population dynamics, reproduction, genetics, morphology
and physiology.

FishBase is a searchable database of finned fish taxonomy, occurrences, and
images. Users can query tables using a taxonomic chart or text string searches
to find pertinent information.

The "SPECIES" table is the backbone of FishBase, and has the scientific name as
the basic unit. Every bit of information in FishBase is attached directly or
indirectly to at least one species and it is through this table that all the
information is accessed. To date, the "SPECIES" table contains about half of
the estimated 25,000 recent fishes. However, the table already includes all
fish that are important to humans either as food, ornamental fish, sport or
bait fish, or because they are threatened by or dangerous to humans.

The "OCCURRENCES" table holds over 15,000 records for about 2,500 species drawn
from more than 100 references. It is planned to incorporate records from other
databases with occurrence records such as NAN-SIS (Strxmme 1992), TAIWAN (Shao
et al. 1992), and GICIM (Hureau 1991).

FishBase presently contains more than 3,500 "still" pictures. These pictures
consist of 467 family pictograms, 509 drawings of adult fish, 150 drawings of
fish larvae, 5 "plates" with fish eggs, 3 rather repulsive representations of
fish diseases, and over 2,300 scanned color photos or slides. Overall, only 30%
of the drawings are in color, due to the longer time required to "paint" color
pictures (only recently, color pictures and slides have been scanned).
Although all FishBase fish pictures are (or at least are meant to be)
taxonomically correct, they do vary in appearance and quality, due to the
different ways they were obtained.

The "GLOSSARY" table contains definitions of more than 1,000 terms related to
ichthyology, taxonomy, ecology, population dynamics, genetics, oceanography,
geography, and related disciplines. It is meant to help users in getting
acquainted with the terms and concepts used in the database. The complete
glossary may also be printed for educational or other purposes.

Related URL
Description: Welcome to the world of fishes. The purpose of this page is to give you
background information on FishBase, a global information system with all you
ever wanted to know about fishes. FishBase is a relational database with
information to cater to different professionals such as research scientists,
fisheries managers, zoologists and many more. FishBase on the web contains
practically all fish species known to science. The FishBase 2000 CD-ROM
contains full information on 25,000 species and comes on 4 CD-ROMS. It can be
ordered for 95 US$ including air-mail.

FishBase was developed at the International Center for Living Aquatic
Resources Management (ICLARM) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and many other partners, and with
support from the European Commission (EC). Since 2001 FishBase is supported by
a consortium of seven research institutions.

Description: Related data set descriptions of FishBase.

Description: Species 2000 taxonomic catalog uses the FishBase database when fish
related queries are made.
Service Citation
Originators: International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM)
Title: Fishbase WWW, The Online Database of Fish Taxonomy and Occurrence
Provider: European Commission
Edition: 2004
ISO Topic Category
This site is best suited for scientists and researchers.
Service Provider
FishBase, WorldFish Center

Service Provider Personnel
Phone: +1 (63-2) 812-8641
Phone: 840-3485
Fax: +1 (63-2) 816-3183
Email: fishbase at
Contact Address:
ICLARM - FishBase Project
c/o IRRI, College, Los Banos
City: Laguna
Postal Code: 4031
Country: Philippines
Distribution Media
Distribution_Media: CD-ROM
Distribution_Format: Access Database
Fees: $95 US dollars

Distribution_Media: electronic
Distribution_Format: html
Fax: +49 431 600 1699
Email: rfroese at
Contact Address:
Leibniz-Institut fur Meereswissenschaften an der Universitat Kiel
20, Dusternbrooker Weg
City: Kiel
Postal Code: 24105
Country: Germany

Phone: 301-851-8113
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at
Contact Address:
5700 Rivertech Court
City: Riverdale
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20737
Country: USA
Fish Base has been reviewed by R.A. McCall and R.M. May in Nature, Vol.
378:735, 31 August 1995, and by K. Matsuura in the Japanese Journal of
Ichthyology, Vol. 42 (3/4):342.

Achenbach, I. and R. Froese 1990. Presentation of a database system for
information on and diagnosis of fish diseases. ICES C.M.1990/F:72: 13 p.

Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications,
Neptune City, New Jersey. 240 p.

Daget, J., J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde
(eds.) 1984. Checklist of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). Inst. R.
Sci. Nat., Bruxelles, Mus}e Royal de lAfrique Centrale, Tervuren. 410 p.

Eschmeyer, W.N. 1990. Catalog of the genera of recent
fishes. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. 697 p.

Fischer, W. 1973, (ed.). FAO species identification sheets for fishery
purposes. Mediterranean and Black Sea (fishing area 37), FAO, Rome. pag. var.

Fischer, W. 1976. The FAO species identification sheets programme: a common
task for ichthyologists and fishery workers. Rev. Trav. P}ches marit., 40(3 and

Froese, R. 1988. The use of quadratic discriminant functions in connection
with video-based measurements for identification of fish larvae. ICES C.M.
1988/L:11: 8 p.

Froese, R. 1989. Computer-aided approaches to identification. II. Numerical
taxonomy. Fishbyte 7(3): 25-28.

Froese, R. 1990. Moderne Methoden zur Bestimmung von Fischlarven.
Universit}t Hamburg, Doctoral thesis: 260 p.

Froese, R. and C. Papasissi. 1990. The use of modern relational databases
for identification of fish larvae. J. Appl. Ichthyol. 6: 37-45.

Froese, R. and W. Sch}fer 1987. Computer-aided identification of fish
larvae. ICES C.M. 1987/L:23: 10 p.

Froese, R., F. Gayanilo and M.L. Soriano 1988. ICLARM fish database project:
report I. ICLARM FishBase PROJECT Document No. 1, December 1988: 160 p.

Froese, R., I. Achenbach, and C. Papasissi 1990. Computer-aided approaches
to identification. III. (Conclusion). Modern Databases. Fishbyte 8(2): 25-27.

Froese, R., K.-G. Barthel, W. Welsch, M. Rolke, C. Schubert, B. Hermann, S.
Mees, D. Schnack and J. Lenz 1990. Development of an underwater video system
for recording of ichthyoplankton and zooplankton. ICES C.M.1990/L:90: 5 p.

Froese, R., W. Sch}fer, A. R}pke and D. Schnack. 1989. Computer-aided
approaches to identification of aquatic organisms: the use of Expert Systems.
Fishbyte 7(2): 18-19.

Houde, E.D. and C.E. Zastrow. 1993. Ecosystem- and taxon-specific dynamic
and energetics properties of fish larvae assemblages. Bull. Mar. Sci.

Hureau, J.C. 1991. La base de donn}es GICIM: Gestion informatis}e des
collections ichthyologiques du Mus}um. p. 225-227. In Atlas Preliminaire des
Poissons dEaux Douce de France. Conseil Sup}rieur de la P}che, Minist}redel
Environment, CEMAGREF et Museum National dHistoire Naturelle, Paris.

ICLARM. 1988. ICLARM five-year plan (1988-1992). International Center for
Living Aquatic Resources Management, Manila, Philippines, 114 p.

IGFA. 1994. IGFA World records. International Game Fish Association, Pompano
Beach, Florida. 40 p.

IUCN. 1994. 1994 Red list of threatened animals. International Union for
Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

Pauly, D. and R. Froese. 1992. FishBase, base de datos computarizada sobre
los peces: uso potencial para America Latina. Jaina 3(4):11-13.

Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier
Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press, Bathurst. 507 p.

Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea
and W.B. Scott. 1980. A list of common and scientific names of fishes from the
United States and Canada. Amer. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. 12. 174 p.

Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea
and W.B. Scott. 1991a. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United
States and Canada. Amer. Fish. Soc. Sp. Pub. 20. 183 p.

Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea
and W.B. Scott. 1991b. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United
States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (20): 243 p.

Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran. 1992. Inland fishes of India and adjacent
countries. Vol. 1 and 2. Balkema, Rotterdam.

Thurston, R.V. and P.C. Gehrke. 1993. Respiratory oxygen requirements of
fishes: description of OXYREF, a data file based on test results reported in
the published literature, p. 95-108. In R.C. Russo and R.V. Thurston (eds.)
Fish physiology, toxicology, and water quality management. Proceedings of an
International Symposium, Sacramento, California, USA, September 18-19, 1990. US
Environmental Protection Agency, USA.

Welcomme, R. 1988. International introductions of inland aquatic species.
FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. No. 294. 318 p.
Creation and Review Dates
SERF Creation Date: 1999-12-15
SERF Last Revision Date: 2012-01-10
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