|Description||A large and extensively accessed biological database about fish|
|Comprehensive species data, including taxonomy, biometrics, behaviour, distribution, habitats and photos|
|Organisms||Adult fish species (finfish)|
|Research center||Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, FishBase Consortium coordinator|
|Authors||Daniel Pauly and Rainer Froese|
|Standalone||Historic versions available on CD|
|License||CC-BY-NC for data; various levels of licensing for media files (pictures, sounds, ...) to be checked case by case|
|Versioning||Every even month of the year|
|Version||Last current version: October 2016|
|Curation policy||FishBase Consortium|
FishBase is a global species database of fish species (specifically finfish).It is the largest and most extensively accessed online database on adult finfish on the web. Over time it has "evolved into a dynamic and versatile ecological tool" that is widely cited in scholarly publications.
FishBase provides comprehensive species data, including information on taxonomy, geographical distribution, biometrics and morphology, behaviour and habitats, ecology and population dynamics as well as reproductive, metabolic and genetic data. There is access to tools such as trophic pyramids, identification keys, biogeographical modelling and fishery statistics and there are direct species level links to information in other databases such as LarvalBase, GenBank, the IUCN Red List and the Catalog of Fishes.
As of November 2018 [update] , FishBase included descriptions of 34,000 species and subspecies, 323,200 common names in almost 300 languages, 58,900 pictures, and references to 55,300 works in the scientific literature. The site has about 700,000 unique visitors per month.
The origins of FishBase go back to the 1970s, when the fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly found himself struggling to test a hypothesis on how the growing ability of fish was affected by the size of their gills.Hypotheses, such as this one, could be tested only if large amounts of empirical data were available. At the time, fisheries management used analytical models which required estimates for fish growth and mortality. It can be difficult for fishery scientists and managers to get the information they need on the species that concern them, because the relevant facts can be scattered across and buried in numerous journal articles, reports, newsletters and other sources. It can be particularly difficult for people in developing countries who need such information. Pauly believed that the only practical way fisheries managers could access the volume of data they needed was to assemble and consolidate all the data available in the published literature into some central and easily accessed repository. Such a database would be particularly useful if the data has also been standardised and validated. This would mean that when scientists or managers need to test a new hypothesis, the available data will already be there in a validated and accessible form, and there will be no need to create a new dataset and then have to validate it.
Pauly recruited Rainer Froese, and the beginnings of a software database along these lines was encoded in 1988. This database, initially confined to tropical fish, became the prototype for FishBase. FishBase was subsequently extended to cover all finfish, and was launched on the Web in August 1996. It is now the largest and most accessed online database for fish in the world.In 1995 the first CD-ROM was released as "FishBase 100". Subsequent CDs have been released annually. The software runs on Microsoft Access which operates only on Microsoft Windows.
FishBase covers adult finfish, but does not detail the early and juvenile stages of fish. In 1999 a complementary database, called LarvalBase, went online under the supervision of Bernd Ueberschär. It covers ichthyoplankton and the juvenile stage of fishes, with detailed data on fish eggs and larvae, fish identification, as well as data relevant to the rearing of young fish in aquaculture. Given FishBase's success, there was a demand for a database covering forms of aquatic life other than finfish. This resulted, in 2006, in the birth of SeaLifeBase.The long-term goal of SeaLifeBase is to develop an information system modelled on FishBase, but including all forms of aquatic life, both marine and freshwater, apart from the finfish which FishBase specialises in. Altogether, there are about 300,000 known species in this category.
As awareness of FishBase has grown among fish specialists, it has attracted over 2,310 contributors and collaborators. Since 2000 FishBase has been supervised by a consortium of nine international institutions. To date, the FishBase consortium has grown to twelve members. The GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) in Germany, functions as the coordinating body.
|Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece|
|Chinese Academy of Fishery Science, Beijing, China|
|UBC Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy|
|Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France|
|Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium|
|Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden|
|WorldFish, Penang, Malaysia|
|Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristóvão - SE, Brazil|
|University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia|
|Quantitative Aquatics, Incorporated, Laguna, Philippines|
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A conventional idea of a sustainable fishery is that it is one that is harvested at a sustainable rate, where the fish population does not decline over time because of fishing practices. Sustainability in fisheries combines theoretical disciplines, such as the population dynamics of fisheries, with practical strategies, such as avoiding overfishing through techniques such as individual fishing quotas, curtailing destructive and illegal fishing practices by lobbying for appropriate law and policy, setting up protected areas, restoring collapsed fisheries, incorporating all externalities involved in harvesting marine ecosystems into fishery economics, educating stakeholders and the wider public, and developing independent certification programs.
Daniel Pauly is a French-born marine biologist, well known for his work in studying human impacts on global fisheries. He is a professor and the project leader of the Sea Around Us Project at the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia. He also served as Director of the UBC Fisheries Centre from November 2003 to October 2008.
The Sea Around Us is an international research initiative and a member of the Global Fisheries Cluster at the University of British Columbia. The Sea Around Us assesses the impact of fisheries on the marine ecosystems of the world and offers mitigating solutions to a range of stakeholders. To achieve this, the Sea Around Us presents fisheries and fisheries-related data at spatial scales that have ecological and policy relevance, such as by Exclusive Economic Zones, High Seas areas, or Large Marine Ecosystems.
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Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) is a free and open source ecosystem modelling software suite, initially started at NOAA by Jeffrey Polovina, but has since primarily been developed at the formerly UBC Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia. In 2007, it was named as one of the ten biggest scientific breakthroughs in NOAA's 200-year history. The NOAA citation states that Ecopath "revolutionized scientists' ability worldwide to understand complex marine ecosystems". Behind this lie more than two decades of development work in association with Villy Christensen, Carl Walters, Daniel Pauly, and other fisheries scientists, followed with the provision of user support, training and co-development collaborations. In 2013, development efforts were centralized under Ecopath International Initiative, Spain. Per January 2019 there are an estimated 8000+ users across academia, non-government organizations, industry and governments in 150+ countries.
Villy Christensen is an ecosystem modeller with a background in fisheries science. He is known for his work as a project leader and core developer of Ecopath, an ecosystem modelling software system widely used in fisheries management. Ecopath was initially an initiative of the NOAA, but since primarily developed at the UBC Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia. In 2007, it was named as one of the ten biggest scientific breakthroughs in NOAA’s 200-year history. The citation states that Ecopath “revolutionized scientists’ ability worldwide to understand complex marine ecosystems".
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The Northern rivers catfish, also known as the Salmon catfish, is a species of catfish in the family Ariidae. It was described by Patricia J. Kailola in 1990, originally under the genus Arius. It inhabits freshwater bodies in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Its diet includes finfish, detritus, terrestrial invertebrates, and caridean shrimp such as those in the genus Macrobrachium.
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Acestrorhynchus falcirostris is a species of fish in the family Acestrorhynchidae. It was described by Georges Cuvier in 1819, originally under the genus Hydrocyon. It inhabits the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers in the area of Guyana, at a pH range of 5.2-7.2, and a dH range of 5-18. It reaches a maximum standard length of 45 cm (18 in).
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