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



Seventh International Conference of the PanAfrican
Fish and Fisheries Association

“African Fish and Fisheries:
Diversity, Conservation & Sustainable Management”


Venue: the conference will be held on the premises of the University of Marien Ngouabi, Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo).

Date: 18-22 September 2023.


The PAFFA conference is by far the largest one for scientists studying African fishes and many renowned scientists, young researchers and other stakeholders are expected to attend this important meeting.

More information on the conference can be found in the first circular of the conference (available in English and French).


The ICP Connect scholarship call for academic year 2023-2024 is now open! VLIR-UOS welcomes scholars to 15 master programmes taught in English at Flemish universities in Belgium.

Funding is available for 10 scholars for each of the 15 ICP Connect programmes.

Discover the scholarship, the individual Master programmes, and the eligibility and selection criteria on


The annual meeting of the FishBase Consortium, preceeded by a two day symposium, was organised this year by WorldFish in Penang (Malaysia). The hybrid meeting, with members participating both virtual and in person, is an excellent opportunity to discuss last year's progress and future challenges, and to strenghten relationships between the increasingly numerous partner institutions.


From 07/03 to 27/05 the RMCA organised the 18th session of the annual training in fish taxonomy and on the use of FishBase. Five African ichthyologists from Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Madagascar succesfully completed their training.


From two to twelve: a team of Belgian researchers has described ten new species of small predatory fish from Lake Edward. Scientists have long suspected that this lake between the DR Congo and Uganda is home to exceptional fish diversity.

More information here. To download the publication, click here.

Dominant male of the new species Haplochromis glaucus.


Now available in open access:

Musschoot T., Boden G. and Snoeks J., 2021. Identification guide to the Clupeiformes of the inland waters of Africa. Zoological Documentation Series, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren. 149p.

Clupeiformes are one of the most economically important fish groups in the world. This guide focusses on the clupeiform species from the African inland waters, including Madagascar and the islands between Madagascar and mainland Africa.




On December 3rd, four African ichthyologists finished a three months training course on "FishBase and Fish Taxonomy". Congratulations! More information on this training and the next session can be found here.


From 7 Mars to 27 May 2022, the RMCA organises a "FishBase and Fish Taxonomy" training session. Applications are accepted until 31 December 2021. More information on this call here; the application form can be found here.


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


Preceeding the annual meeting of the FishBase Consortium, and celebrating 30 years of FishBase and 15 years of SeaLifeBase, a symposium will be organised in Paris (France) on 6 and 7 September 2021. All details can be found here.  


Co-authored by FishBase project coordinator Rainer Froese (GEOMAR, Germany) and FishBase-for-Africa coordinator Jos Snoeks (RMCA), the first-ever stock assessments in the Lake Edward System (East Africa) were published by Laban Musinguzi (NaFIRRI, Uganda), a former FishBase trainee who is currently pursuing his PhD supported by the RMCA and NaFIRRI. See this link for more information and here for the publication.


In the framework of a PhD study at the UHasselt (Belgium) and Nord University (Norway), a survey on (genetic) indicators for fisheries monitoring and management was released.

The goal of this survey is to address the current lack of genetic indicators for fish stocks. Opinions, needs and expectations of stakeholders and experts from different locations and different areas of expertise will be compared.

Expertise with genetic techniques is not needed to participate. The survey can be found here.