The Sea Around Us Project Manager, Dr. Deng Palomares, wrote the below letter in support of FishBase, one of our project’s valued partners.
FishBase needs help and I am writing to you because you either have at one point or another requested data to be extracted from FishBase for your own research purposes or have contributed your own data to FishBase.
One of the FishBase funders has had to reduce its commitment and as a result, there is a US$200,000 gap in the FishBase 2018/2019 budget, which will result in forced unpaid leave of key staff with direct consequences for the constant updating and growth of FishBase, a resource on which many of biologists rely.
Many of us use FishBase regularly in our work given it provides important data on distribution, traits etc. Indeed, these data are so valuable that FishBase receives over 700,000 unique visits per month and underpins key scientific breakthroughs such as the Nature paper on rates of evolution [it’s slower in the tropics!]
Key about FishBase is that it is free for everyone in the world, regardless of whether their institutions can afford journal subscriptions.<
FishBase co-founder Daniel Pauly once said “sending a bibliography is like providing cookbooks in a famine” and it has been the underpinning ethos of FishBase to make information available equally, regardless of where one works.
So for nearly 30 years, FishBase, with its team of biologists and programmers has done just that, while constantly improving and expanding this valued resource.
But FishBase needs our help now. So, when you are next online on FishBase and see the donate request pop up, please donate at least $25. That’s one bottle of good VQA wine in Canada or half a carton of decent beer in Australia, 3 packs of organic Hess avocados from Loblaws or 6 latte grandes at Starbucks. If you drink more beer, use more avocado on your toast or are caffeine dependent, please consider a larger donation. IF EVERY MARINE RESEARCHER GETS ON BOARD, we can make a major contribution to FishBase. Imagine if you had to pay to access this type of information.
It’s time to pay it forward!
Thank you for your consideration and we all look forward to a flood of worldwide support to FishBase.