Member of the

Freshwater Information Platform


FishBase Information and Research Group, Inc. (FIN)

The FishBase Information and Research Group, Inc. (FIN) is a domestic non-stock, non-profit, non-governmental organization established in the Philippines in September 2003 with the support of FishBase Consortium, a network of nine (9) international Institutes and organizations.

Primarily created to support FishBase, FIN is now more generally engaged in the development and management of comprehensive information system(s) with key data on all aquatic organisms of the world, easily accessible and free-of-charge to the public. FIN currently provides technical support to the growth of FishBase (www.fishbase.org), Catalogue of Life (www.catalogueoflife.org), SeaLifeBase (www.sealifebase.org) and AquaMaps (www.aquamaps.org).

FishBase (www.fishbase.org) is as a free-access information system - a one-stop cybershop for all you ever wanted to know about fishes - on all finfishes of the world primarily focused on supporting fish-related natural resources management, for both conservation and exploitation issues. As a Global Species Database, FishBase records a wide range of information about the finfish 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 for about 32,500 species, half of them occurring in freshwaters (as of May 2013). There are more than 51,000 images on more than half of the species in its collection, thanks to its many avid contributors. FishBase also provides a range of country, regional, and ecosystem-specific information, and state of the art analytical and graphical tools which allow users to transform raw data into information that are useful in fisheries assessment and identifying management techniques in order to restore depleted fish stocks. These tools are being 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 - vital in making their recommendations, conclusions and management decisions. To date, over 85,000 scientific synonym names and almost 300,000 common names are recorded in FishBase, 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. The URL www.fishbase.org redirects actually to the 7 mirrors in USA, Germany, France, Sweden, Taiwan, China and Greece.

SeaLifeBase (www.sealifebase.org) is a joint initiative with the Sea Around Us Project (Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia) which is a searchable online information system which follows the highly successful FishBase model and provides key information on scientific and common names, distribution, ecology and life history data for all multi-celled marine organisms of the world’s oceans. In the context of BioFresh, the structure of SeaLifeBase will be used to encode occurrences data for non-fish freshwater organisms.

AquaMaps (www.aquamaps.org) is a species distribution model applicable in poor-data context based on the computation of ecological envelopes from the combination of occurrences data and global environmental parameter datasets. Primarily developed for marine mammals, it has been extended to all marine organisms. In the context of BioFresh, the model will be extended to continental waters.

The FishBase Consortium constitutes the FIN Scientific Committee with the following current members: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome, Italy); The WorldFish Center (Penang, Malaysia); Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany); Swedish Museum of Natural History (Stockholm, Sweden); Africa Museum (Tervuren, Belgium); Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France); Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada); Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki, Greece); and Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (Beijing, China). The Scientific Coordinator of the FishBase Consortium and also Chair of FIN’s Board of Trustees is Dr. Rainer Froese, Senior Scientist at GEOMAR.


Nicolas Bailly

Nicolas Bailly (PhD) is acting as the FIN Scientific Director and as the FishBase Project Manager in the Philippines. He has participated in the following projects under the EC-FP5, FP6 and FP7, all related to biodiversity databasing: ERMS, ENHSIN, Fauna Europaea, BioCase, ENBI, D4Science, HighArcs, iMarine, EU-BON. He organized one of the 3rd GBIF Governing Board meeting in Paris. He participated in the creation of the FishBase Consortium of which he was the head for one year. He participated in many initiatives on biodiversity information systems at the French national level during his employment at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

Kathleen Kesner-Reyes

Kathleen Kesner-Reyes (BA) is a Research Associate for FishBase working on data requirements and verification of AquaMaps, a predictive mapping component of FishBase that matches species tolerances with environmental conditions in a given geographic area to determine probability of species occurrence in the area. She is also involved in further development of the AquaMaps system for marine, freshwater and terrestrial domains, and helps coordinate the implementation of several AquaMaps-related projects.

Armi Torres

Armi Torres (MSc) is a Research Associate for FishBase working mainly on freshwater fishes and their taxonomy, distribution as well as associated biological information. She handles the IUCN Red List in FishBase and conservation issues at the national and global levels. She also works on fish oxygen consumption. She was previously in-charge of reproduction related information, mainly responsible for compiling information on fishes of the Mekong River and freshwater fishes of central and South America as contribution of FishBase for the CLOFFSCA (Checklist of Freshwater Fishes of Central and South America).  She was actively involved in organizing trainings on freshwater fish identification and conservation in collaboration with national and international partners.

Susan Luna

Susan Luna (BSc) is a Research Associate for FishBase. Her research experience is in reproductive biology and larval development of fishes. She has published in peer-reviewed journals. Ms. Luna has been with FishBase since its inception in 1990, compiling various life-history data, most especially on reproduction, spawning, maturity, egg development, and larval development of fishes. She has led two projects: 1) characterizing anchovy larval stocks in the Verde Island Passage, Philippines, and 2) introducing the use of mobile phones for promoting coastal fisheries conservation and management in Verde Island, Philippines, in 2009 and 2010 respectively.  Currently, she participates in the compilation of biological data needed for three EU projects under the 7th Framework Program, namely ECOKNOWS, HighARCS, BioFresh and Lenfest Ocean Porgram at The PEW Charitable Trusts.)

April 2013 - News

The Issue 06 of the BioFresh Newsletter is out now.

read more and download

Annual BioFresh meeting - News

The 4th annual BioFresh meeting is just around the corner! The focus of this year’s meeting will be on the interface between science and policy and making freshwater biodiversity science more politically influential.

The fourth annual meeting of the BioFresh project will be held next week from April 15-19 in the trendy Germany city of Leipzig. The slogan of this year’s meeting is “BioFresh goes political”, which captures the focus of linking BioFresh science with policy and conservation outcomes. The meeting is a chance for members from our 19 partner organisations of the BioFresh team to get together and assess the progress of the previous 3 years and discuss plans for the final phase of the BioFresh project.

July 2012 - News

The Issue 05 of the BioFresh Newsletter is out now.

read more and download

December 2012 - News

New DAET maps available. The BioFresh contingency fund serves as additional support for non-partner organisations to adapt, complete and submit databases that are of interest for BioFresh.

NATURE paper - News

NATURE paper: Cryptic biodiversity loss linked to global climate change

Climate impacts on biodiversity are usually assessed at the morphospecies level with effects at the genetic level less well studied. Now research into the distribution and mitochondrial DNA variability of nine mountain-dwelling insect species shows that range contractions will be accompanied by severe loss of genetic diversity as the climate warms, implying that conventional assessments may underestimate losses.

Read more on the Nature website

Freshwater: the essence of life - News

Scientists and photographers joined their efforts to publish a large-format illustrated book in the CEMEX conservation book series on “Freshwater: The Essence of Life”.  The book was coordinated by Conservation International and involved scientists from all over the world, including many BioFresh partners.  They contributed to the different chapters drawing a picture of the amazing richness of freshwater ecosystems, and raising awareness on why Earth’s freshwater supplies and systems are in peril. These ecosystems have proved resilient throughout millennia, but in the last few decades, human activities have drastically modified and destroyed them to the point of alarm. The book was launched on December 6th in Cancun at the UNFCCC COP 16.

Freshwater: The essence of life. (2010).Russell A. Mittermeier, Tracy A. Farrell, Ian J. Harrison, Amy J. Upgren, Thomas M. Brooks.  Series editor: Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier

For more information visit the Conservation International website.

A short animation: What is BioFresh? - News

We’re delighted to present a short animation produced by Paul Jepson and colleagues at Oxford University which outlines BioFresh’s work in helping improve the protection and management of global freshwater ecosystems.

View animation

Water lives - News

“Water Lives…” is a new science communication animation designed to draw attention to the important (yet largely invisible) biodiversity which underpins and sustains our freshwater ecosystems. Produced by Rob St.John and Paul Jepson at the School of Geography and the Environment for BioFresh the animation brings artists and scientists together to collaborate and communicate the concept the idea that freshwater is more than an inert resource: instead a living, dynamic system inhabited by beautiful, important organisms largely unseen by the naked eye. “Water Lives…” invites viewers to engage with their freshwater environments, perhaps value them in new ways and engage with how they should be managed [...]

Read more and watch the film on the BioFresh blog

Protect the “Amazon of Europe” - News

Danube’s most valuable and best preserved floodplain system along its entire 2,850 kilometers length is threatened with destruction: the "Kopački Rit" in Croatia. A major project to regulate this unique region is currently in the final stage of decision. If the project becomes reality, the natural Danube will be transformed into a monotonous canal, with fatal consequences for its wildlife: The white-tailed eagle, the black stork and the Danube sturgeon would be in severe danger of extinction.

For more ínformation go to www.amazon-of-europe.com

Interessting blog - News

National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative "Water Currents is part of the National Geographic Society’s freshwater initiative, a global effort to inspire and empower individuals and communities to conserve freshwater and preserve the extraordinary diversity of life that rivers, lakes, and wetlands sustain..." (from NG's website)

Read more on newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/blog/water-currents/