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Twelve years of FishBase: lessons learned

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  • Biodiversity
  • Internet


Microsoft Word - 08Boden_edited.doc Vanden Berghe E., M. Brown, M..Í. Costello, C. Heip, S. Levitas and P. Pissierssens (Eds). 2004. p. 47-55 Proceedings o f ‘The Colour o f Ocean Data’ Symposium, Brussels, 25-27 November 2002 IOC Workshop Report 188 (UNESCO, Paris). x + 308 pp. - also published as VL1Z Special Publication 16 Twelve years of FishBase: lessons learned Gert Boden and Guy G. Teugels*1 Ichthyology, Africa M useum Leuvensesteenweg 13, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium E-mail: boden@ afficam Abstract FishB ase is an extensive database with information on fishes that was started in 1990 and that is available on the internet since 1998. The num ber o f hits increased from a few 100.000 in 1999 to m ore than 4 m illion in August 2002. M ost users are individuals searching for information by common name. Researchers are also intensively using FishBase since they visit the specialized topics. D ue to their lim ited num ber, it is obvious that their user sessions are relatively less num erous compared to those o f the individuals. FishB ase is trying not to duplicate information that is already available on the internet. It rather gives species-level links to these particular pages, m ainly other databases and distribution maps. FishBase has a ‘science first’ attitude, i.e. information is based on cited scientific publications. Keywords: FishBase; Biodiversity; Internet. Introduction FishBase started in 1990 as an initiative of the European Commission. The database fitted in with the whole program between the European Union and the developing countries. Since most of the available information and knowledge on research on fishes is only available in the developed countries, FishBase was seen as a tool for the transfer of this information and knowledge to the developing countries. The development of the FishBase-concept was given to ICLARM (International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, now the World Fish Center), member of the CGIAR-g

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