FishBase is an information system with key data on the biology of all fishes - at least, this is the goal.  Similar to an encyclopedia, FishBase contains different things for different people.  For example,

  • fisheries managers will dive into the largest existing compilation of population dynamics data;
  • teachers and students will find numerous graphs illustrating basic concepts of fish biology;
  • taxonomists will enjoy access to Eschmeyer's (1998) Catalog of fishes databases;
  • conservationists will use the lists of threatened fishes for any given country (IUCN 1996);
  • policymakers may be interested in a chronological, annotated list of introductions to their country;
  • research scientists, as well as funding agencies will find it useful to gain a quick overview of what is known about a certain species;
  • zoologists and physiologists will have the largest existing compilations of fish morphology, metabolism, gill area, brain size, eye pigment, or swimming speed at their fingertips;
  • ecologists will likewise use data on diet composition, trophic levels, food consumption and predators as inputs for their models;
  • aquaculturists will see functional databases on genetic traits and culture experiments, as well as the foundation for a global strains registry;
  • geneticists will find the largest compilation of allele frequencies;
  • the fishing industry will find proximate analysis, as well as processing recommendations for many marine species;
  • anglers will enjoy a listing of all game fishes occurring in a particular country (IGFA 1994);
  • and scholars interested in local knowledge will find more than 70,000 common names of fishes together with the language/culture in which they are used and comments on their etymology.

Hardware requirements

This information is accessible on the internet at http:// through an easy-to-use interface on any personal computer with a CD-ROM drive and Microsoft Windows NT, 95, 98 or 2000 or above installed.

FishBase 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.

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Last modified by Eli, 10.04.06   (