NANFA-- Fish Base.....
Mon, 30 Jun 2003 05:15:45 -0700

Hi all. I received this today on the Great Lakes Information Network
listserv and thought I would pass it along. Here is the article....
Scott Schlueter
Fish Base
You can find out anything you want to know about any fish in the world on a
Web site called ?Fish Base.? By Steve Pomplun

Pick a fish - any fish - and you can find out all about it on the Web. A
site called Fish Base provides information on every known species, including
natural histories and current populations.
Daniel Pauly started the database to help fisheries managers. But the effort
kept growing until Pauly and his colleagues at the University of British
Columbia had turned the technical database into an accessible Web resource.

"We ended up having covered all the fish in the world, 27 thousand species.
So here we have a database which provides biological information, pictures,
all kinds of information about all the fish of the world. And it turned out
that far more people were interested in it than we initially anticipated,
and our most common user now is a U.S. school kid, who uses it to do
Fish Base contains thousands of reports, maps, and pictures. It includes
information useful to non-scientists, including anglers and recreational

Pauly says a key to making Fish Base accessible was to include common names.
He says scientific jargon had been the biggest barrier to everyday users.

"So if you wanted information about cod, you had to know the scientific name
gadus morhua. But in the mean time, we have put, what, 130 thousand common
names in 200 languages. And so people access the information through the
common names, which is what they know. And so it has become very popular
with regular folks."
You can find the database on the Web at

Script for Monday, June 30, 2003
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