When Ma. Josephine Barile, aka Skit, joined FishBase back in 1998, she knew very little about the programming software being used to update the database and make it available to users. Yet, all she needed was a two-week trial period to get a good grasp of it and become the lead person in charge of maintaining the encoding application, the database, and coordinating the CD releases of FishBase.

“I had to make things work for that trial period, with my two besties on hand: The MS Access 97 Step by Step book, and the FishBase Book,” she recalls.

From then…

Cristina Garilao, aka Nina, is originally from Manila but has been living in Kiel for nearly 13 years. Her work in Germany revolves around projects that help maintain the database and web interface of AquaMaps, a platform that hosts standardized distribution maps for over 33,500 species of fishes, marine mammals, and invertebrates.

Despite having been in Germany for over a decade now, Nina’s work started in the Philippines right after she obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology from the Ateneo de Manila University.

She dubs her landing in FishBase a ‘story in serendipity.’

“One day close to graduation, I answered…

Kathleen Kesner-Reyes has a background in anthropology, but she has dedicated most of her professional life to working on marine biodiversity information systems.

After spending three years doing fieldwork for the Bolinao Marine Laboratory of the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute, in 1995, she joined the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management as a research assistant for ReefBase — the electronic encyclopedia on coral reefs modelled after FishBase.

“It was there that l learned more about species databases and how compiling species data in a standardized format was important because it allowed different data to be combined…

When Armi Torres joined FishBase at age 25, she couldn’t have predicted the turns her career as a marine biologist would take.

For years, the ocean had been the compass that guided her professional path so little did she know that she would end up diving into the depths of research on freshwater fish.

It all started when she decided to work with FishBase while completing her master’s degree in marine biology. …

Photo from World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) where she served as the editor for Actiniaria and Corallimorpharia

Dr. Daphne Fautin, a known taxonomist of anthozoans, has been a collaborator for SeaLifeBase since 2007, contributing a bulk of occurrence data for sea anemones and hard corals.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank her for seminal work on sea anemone fauna, notably for the database ‘Hexacorallians of the World’, of Actiniaria (sea anemone), where data on taxonomy, distribution and linked information were equally useful and put to good use.

Her expertise of the sea anemone fauna spans that of the Indo-West Pacific and Antarctica, which materialized to popular guides on anemone fish and their hosts and…

Patricia Yap has been with SeaLifeBase since its inception in 2005.

Before joining the initial three-people team, while she was doing her undergrad at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Pat worked at the WorldFish Center doing literature reviews for coastal management initiatives and training activities. FishBase was in the same building so she was able to connect with their team and become familiar with the work they do.

After graduating, she left and worked in the field for a year, then came back after one of her previous bosses told her about FishBase’s new sister project, which would…

Emily Capuli says that when she started working for FishBase three decades ago, her hair was darker and longer.

She may look different now but her interest in documenting the fishes found globally has not changed a bit.

She continues to do this by ‘fishing’ for new species and documenting taxonomic changes in FishBase. This is what Emily has been doing for the past 30 years.

The marine biologist joined the FishBase team right after completing her Master’s degree at the University of the Philippines. …

FishBase was officially launched as a project in 1990. And even before the project took off, Susan ‘Tuttay’ Luna, was already onboard.

How did it start?

It was 1989 when Susan started working with Daniel Pauly at the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources (ICLARM)— the same time FishBase was being developed by its pioneers, Daniel Pauly and Rainer Froese.

Onboard as a researcher, she was tasked to get the first database prototype running. Just as how FishBase started from a stack of index cards populated with fish data, she sent printed pages of curated encoded information from the database…

Perhaps John F. Kennedy said it best: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

The best way to show our appreciation towards our supporters and friends is to continue being the vessel of information on marine life and ensuring that data are freely available to the public.

Without their tireless support, FishBase and SeaLifeBase wouldn’t be the leading global platforms that stand on centuries of knowledge and deliver up-to-date information on all marine life.

Making information available for people to use was the most…

Now, it’s Dr. Nicolas Bailly’s turn to reel the wheel of time!

On this fifth episode of the FishBase and SeaLifeBase Anniversary podcast, Dr. Nicolas Bailly (Scientific Adviser for SeaLifeBase) shares the little known story on how SeaLifeBase came to be.

Back in 2004, putting together a database for all non-fishes can be a daunting task. But at its core, Bailly took an ‘empty’ shell of the FishBase database structure and populated it with marine and aquatic names extracted from the Catalogue of Life (CoL), strategically linking together valid names and important biological data to create a reliable database.


The SeaLifeBase Blog

SeaLifeBase is a global database which follows the highly successful FishBase model, providing key biological traits for all non-fish marine organisms

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