FishBase in “CGIAR’s 50 innovations at 50”

FishBase made it into the 50 – as it should!
Dr Philippa Cohen
Program Leader –Resilient Small-scale Fisheries | WorldFish

CGIAR‘s 50th anniversary celebration highlights the top 50 key innovations of global significance that have been developed within its circle of partner centers. FishBase, first developed at WorldFish in 1988, makes it on the list of those being honored. CGIAR proudly acknowledges the value of the groundbreaking global biodiversity information system as a public resource fundamental in making informed good decisions for better management of fisheries worldwide.

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research or CGIAR is a global partnership that unites international organizations engaged in research about food security. CGIAR research aims to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and sustainable management of natural resources. [Source: Wikipedia]

The media release of CGIAR also serves as an announcement on the current collaboration between FishBase and WorldFish which involves the incorporation of nutrition data and model into the global species database.

Innovation: Harnessing the power of data to transform food systems

Access to reliable data is crucial for decision-making on food systems, especially in the face of a changing global climate. CGIAR is committed to making its data as widely accessible as possible, recognizing the value of its research as a global public good. Open access databases have been developed across CGIAR over the past five decades, making important information public so that it can empower farmers, researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to advance common goals.

FishBase is one standout example of this. FishBase was first developed by CGIAR researchers at WorldFish in 1988 as a database on six diskettes and covering 200 species. It is now an online encyclopedia available in 14 languages, making available crucial information on more than 34,000 freshwater and marine species, and visited by more than 900,000 people each month. It is currently one of the most cited fish or fisheries resources in the world. 

The large amount of information (‘traits’) on most fish species that FishBase incorporates has enabled numerous meta-analyses – statistical analysis combining the results of multiple studies – on fish. FishBase also serves as a key data source for the management of fisheries and aquaculture in numerous countries, and the monitoring of their biodiversity. It is used in virtually all universities around the world to facilitate the teaching of ichthyology, fisheries management and aquatic/marine biology, as well as informing hundreds of research projects. WorldFish and partners are currently developing a nutrition potential model and a new ‘nutrient composition’ function to be included in FishBase to support addressing undernutrition by filling related data gaps.


Joann Glorioso

About Joann Glorioso

Events Coordinator / Communications & Public Relations Officer

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