Scientific Advice

Nicolas Bailly, FishBase Project Leader
FishBase Information and Research Group, Inc.
G. S. Khush Hall, IRRI, College-Los Baños, Laguna 4031 PHilippines
T: +63(49)536-2701 to 05 ext. 2852; F: +63(02)580 5699

Rainer Froese, FishBase Consortium Coordinator
Helmholtz-Center for Ocean Research (GEOMAR)
Duesternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
T: +49(431)600 4579; F: +49(431)600 1699

FIN Executive Director

Mary ann Bimbao
FishBase Information and Research Group, Inc. (FIN)
G. S. Khush Hall, IRRI, College-Los Baños, Laguna 4031 Philippines
T: +63(2)580 5659, +63(49)536 2701 to 05 ext. 2855; F: +63(02)580 5699

The programming and data encoding are being done by the team who are employed by the FishBase Information and Research Group. Inc.

Scientific Network

The FishBase Consortium, comprising of three museums of Natural History (MNHN, Pairs, France; MRAC, Tervuren, Belgium; NRM; Stockholm, Sweden), four universities (UBC, Vancouver, Canada; Kiel University, Germany; Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece; Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Beijing, China), and two international organizations (FAO, Rome, Italy; WorldFish Center, Penang, Malaysia). This Consortium accepted and endorsed SeaLifeBase as one of its main activities. It helps SeaLifeBase identify contributors and collaborators for the different taxonomic groups and biological domains.

Specific Projects

  • Sealife Abundance Project
  • The SeaLife Abundance Project is a sub-project of SeaLifeBase, under the Fisheries Center of the University of British Columbia (UBC). Its primary goal is to compile geographically and temporally referenced abundance information for native and invasive or introduced aquatic species. These data will soon be available in SeaLifeBase.

    Duration: 2007-2010

    Contact person:
    Kai M. A. Chan (, Assistant Professor
    Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services)
    Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability
    AERL Rm 438, 2202 Main Mall
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
    T: +60(4)822 0400; Fax: +60(4)822 9250

  • CenSeam Project
  • SeaLifeBase is in collaboration with the CenSeam project to gather occurrence information for species collected in or near seamounts by old expeditions, in particular, the H.M.S. Challenger Expedition, for encoding into SeamountsOnline database. Possible seamounts among the stations sampled by the H.M.S. Challenger were identified from the list of already recorded seamounts in the SeamountsOnline database by a two-step process, i.e., matching of station geographical coordinates (+/- 1 degree square) with those of known seamounts then matching of station depths with the summit depths provided by SeamountsOnline. Accuracy of matching is indicated with a category system, e.g., 80-100% accuracy is given to records with matching coordinates (not +/- the 1 degree square buffer) and depth while 0-20% accuracy is given if the geographic coordinates of the station falls inside the 1 degree buffer. Data encoding was completed for non-fish marine organisms sampled in possible seamounts by the H.M.S. Challenger. Fish species are still being encoded.

    Duration: July-November 2008

    Contact person:
    Karen Ingeborg Stocks (
    Assistant Research Scientist, San Diego Supercomputer Center
    Lecturer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    SDSC UCSD, MC 05059500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla
    CA 92093-0505 USA
    T: +1(858)534 5009; F: +1(858)822 3610

  • World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Project
  • Collaboration with the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) was initiated in February 2008 with the main purpose of encoding/digitizing information from references covering taxonomic data which are not yet in electronic format. This initiative is funded by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) with Dr. Edward van den Berghe as our main partner and Dr. Ward Appeltans (, the WoRMS data manager as our direct contact for the APHIA database. Information for penaeoid and sergestoid prawns, copepods and amphipods were integrated into the APHIA database in 2008 and encoding of squat lobsters is to be completed in June 2009.

  • Marine Metazoans of China Project
  • A list of marine metazoans occurring in coastal and shallow waters of China was assembled from Chinese and English language sources. This contribution briefly reviewed the status of that biodiversity in terms of functional groups (i.e., groups of species with similar functions within the marine ecosystem).

    This mini-project provided SeaLifeBase with 2,801 valid species and 1,066 Chinese-language common names (2 Cantonese, 1,058 Mandarin and 6 Min Nan). It also helped to assign 2,275 species to China, 230 species to the large marine ecosystem of the Yellow sea, 1,017 species to the South China Sea, 762 species to the East China Sea and 2,158 species to FAO area 61 (Northwest Pacific). The data were extracted from 578 references covering 270 jellyfishes, 553 echinoderms, 1123 polychaetes, 800 crabs, 300 shrimps, 95 cephalopods, 133 zooplankton, 5 sea turtles, 36 cetaceans, and 62 seabirds.

    A paper by Huang, B., W. Cheung, V.W.Y. Lam, M.L. Palomares, P. Sorongon and D. Pauly. (manuscript) entitled “Toward an account of the biodiversity of chinese coastal and shelf waters: the roles of SeaLifeBase, FishBase and other online databases” was presented at the FishBase Symposium, Innovation Building, YSFRI, Qingdao, China, September 1, 2008.

    Although this list is incomplete and biased towards commercially important and well-studied species, it serves to illustrate what could be the minimum database each country can create and/or maintain to document its marine biodiversity.

    Marie Lourdes D. Palomares (
    Daniel Pauly (
    Patricia M.E. Sorongon-Yap (
    Note: First author Bonnie Huang, who gathered data from Chinese literature on marine non-fish organisms, and 4th author William Cheung, who analyzed the ecosystem models of the South China Sea for this mini-project, are no longer with the Fisheries Centre.

  • Aquamaps Project
  • The SeaLifeBase Team with the help of four student assistants prioritized the completion of primary information (FAO area distribution, depth ranges and bounding boxes) needed for the generation of Aquamaps as well as pictures of these species. Occurrence points gathered from OBIS and to the Catalogue of Life ( CoL ) Annual Checklist 2008 were used as a pre-processing procedure run by the FishBase IT Team. As a result of this effort, a total of 1,234 species qualified for the generation of Aquamaps. As of March 2009, SeaLifeBase displays 1,350 species (including marine mammals) with Aquamaps. Of these, 647 have pictures and 237 species without pictures have direct links to Google images.

    There are 356 Aquamaps species that are not yet searchable through the website (, these are the species with assigned temporary IDs. However, all these species are searchable in the SeaLifeBase website where the map displayed is clickable and is directly linked to The next step now would be to review the generated maps. This is called the expert-review process which is an integral part of the Aquamaps approach and has been implemented to allow experts to modify envelope settings and maximum range extents to reduce the effects of biases and discrepancies caused by non-representative survey coverage and species misidentifications.

Copyright ©2012 UBC Fisheries Centre & The FishBase Information and Research Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Page last modified 03/12/14