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.