Fishbase for Africa



FishBase for Africa is a subset of FishBase with exclusively data on African fresh- and brackish water fishes. The information in this database is validated, revised and updated by the FishBase for Africa Team of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren (Belgium).


Click here to enter FishBase for Africa.


The Ichthyology Unit of the RMCA has a more than a century long tradition in biodiversity studies on African fresh- and brackish water fishes. It curates by far the largest collection of African fresh- and brackish water fish species and also holds a unique library focused on the ichthyodiversity of Africa.

The RMCA is a founding member of the FishBase Consortium and has developed a comprehensive FishBase programme including:

  • the provision of high quality data on African fishes to scientists and decision makers in Africa by adding and verifying information on African fresh- and brackish water fishes in FishBase and FishBase for Africa;
  • an annual and comprehensive training session on the use of FishBase and the taxonomy of African fishes;
  • the assessment of the conservations status of African fish species for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, in close collaboration with IUCN.

The development of these activities within the museum is a major instrument to directly assist in a better conservation of the African ichthyodiversity and in sustainable management of fisheries.


Latest news


The study of length-weight relationships (LWRs) is an important approach that is widely applied in the management of fish populations. For the first time a study has now focussed on this relationship for fishes from the Congo River basin:

A. Ibala Zamba, E. Vreven, V. Mamonekene, T. Musschoot, H.F.P. Ngot  and J. Snoeks (2020)  Length‐weight relationships of 37 freshwater fish species from the Lefini river, middle Congo River basin (Republic of the Congo). Journal of Applied Ichthyology,


Another work highlights a new approach to gain these valuable data from museum collections:

A. Hay, W. Xian, N. Bailly, C. Liang and D. Pauly (2020) The why and how of determining length‐weight relationships of fish from preserved museum specimens. Journal of Applied Ichthyology,


The 2020 FishBase training started on Monday 02 Mars and will continue for 12 weeks until 22 May. Five candidates, coming from Senegal (2), Benin, Burkina Faso and DRC were selected out of more than 100 applications.


Different types of grants are available through TWAS

(The world academy of sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries).

For more info:

In addition a “Cooperation Visits Programme” exists for sub-Saharan scientists to go to an institute in Germany.





In 2019 the RMCA organises a “FishBase and Fish Taxonomy” training session. Applications are accepted until 15 January 2019:

application form FISHBASE 2019.doc 


This edition will be held in English . Only applications from English-speaking candidates will be considered.



Call for proposal:

German-African Innovation Incentive Award 2018. 

See call for the English version of the announcement and appel for the French version.

The aim of the measure is to promote the translation of research findings into practical solutions which benefit African societies and improve the living conditions for people in Africa in the longer term.

The award will be granted for an existing achievement and will make it possible to develop a follow-up project with which the partners can advance their research findings with a view to future commercial exploitation.

The prize money amounts to 150,000 euros.



Second call for student mobility within Africa (deadline 30/08/2018). The MOUNAF consortium offers scholarships for African students to do a master or PhD programme at an African partner institution. See


The first announcement for the 6th Conference of the Panafrican Fish and Fisheries Association (PAFFA) has been released, which will take place from 24 to 28 September 2018 in Malawi.

See this link for the announcement.  (change of date!!)







In 2018 the RMCA organises the 14thFishBase and Fish Taxonomy” training session. Applications are accepted until 20 December 2017.


This edition will be held in French. Only applications from French-speaking candidates will be considered.



25/09/2017:A third 'Local FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session was held in Ngaoundere (Cameroon) from 14 to 20 September 2017. This training session was organised by Arnold Bitja, alumnus of the annual FishBase and Fish Taxonomy training that is organised at the RMCA in Belgium (see also



15/09/2017: From 04 to 08 September 2017, the Royal Museum for Central Africa organised and hosted the annual meeting of the FishBase Consortium. During this meeting, last year’s progress and the work plan for the coming year are discussed.

07/09/2017: On 05 September 2017 the Royal Museum for Central Africa organised the 15th FishBase Symposium. A pdf version of the Book of Abstracts can be requested via .