News archive

News archive


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.


--UPDATE: Deadline extended to 8 February--


The 2021 Annual Symposium of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles focuses on the functional role of fish and fisheries in aquatic ecosystems, at a time when the impact of man has never been so extensive. Topics range from the fundamental to the applied, from a small to a large scale, from the past to the future, provided that fish and fisheries take a prime role.

The Annual Symposium will be held online from Monday, July 5 until Thursday, July 8, 2021. See the FSBI website for more information.



The call for the third cohort of the One Planet Fellowship, offered by the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), is now open.

The call seeks applicants from Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, and Zambia.

The deadline for applications is February 15, 2021.


The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) and the KU Leuven (Leuven University) jointly offer a full-time position (50 % workleader at the RMCA and 50 % tenure track professor at the KU Leuven): Eco-evolutionary relationships in African Cichlid radiations.

 For more details, see Vacancies (


FishBase and SeaLifeBase anniversary podcast

A limited series where the pioneers behind FishBase and SeaLifeBase talk about the mission of these online global biodiversity information systems.


Created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of FishBase and 15th anniversary of SeaLifeBase.


From 1 March to 21 May 2021 the RMCA organises its anual "FishBase and Fish Taxonomy" training, this time for 5 English- speaking, African scientists. 


The full call, including all details, and the application form are available on


The deadline for applications is 10 January 2021.


The annual meeting of the FishBase Consortium, reviewing last year's progress and discussing the new work plan, was held from 07 to 11 September 2020. Due to Covid-19 measures this was a virtual meeting, hosted by the University of British Columbia, which  required quite a bit of puzzling because of the many different time zones of the participants. Despite the succes of this event we hope to meet physically in Paris next year!


Celebrating the 30th anniversary of FishBase, Q-Quatics has released a video "FishBase and SeaLifeBase by the numbers" focussing on the wealth of data that feed the databases.


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 14th “FishBase 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 .

25/04/2016: and here it is: the call for applications for the second edition of the local 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session.

The training will held from 23-29 September 2016 in Nairobi and will be hosted by Mrs. Dorothy Wanja Nyingi of the National Museums of Kenya.

Don't forget to download and complete the application form! The application deadline is 30 June 2016.


21/04/2016: keep a close watch on this page because soon ...


... a new call for applications for the 2nd edition of the local 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session will appear here!


Two hints: Nairobi and September 2016. More information will follow shortly. 

21/04/2016: Tchalondawa Kisekelwa, a former FishBase trainee and member of the MbiSA Congo project, is the principal author of a publication describing a new species of elephantfish from the DR Congo: Marcusenius kaninginii.


Please contact him for more information on this new species. 

08/03/2016:  the Rufford Foundation provides funding for small nature/biodiversity conservation projects and pilot programmes in developing countries. FishBase trainees Abebe Getahun (Ethiopia), Wilbert Kadye (Zimbabwe) and Mbalassa Mulongaibalu (DRC) succesfully completed fish conservation projects through a Rufford Foundation grant. 

26/02/2016:  the book of abstracts of the 13th FishBase Symposium 'FishBase and SeaLifeBase for Teaching and Research in Aquatic Science' (01 September 2015, Philippines) is now available online.

22/02/2016: from 8 to 12 February Jos Snoeks visited the LHA in Benin to teach classes on FishBase and fish systematics to MSc students of the MoRAP programme. 

08/02/2016: have a look at a brief report of the first local 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training, held in Dakar in November 2015.

21/01/2016: Jos Snoeks, coordinator of the FishBase for Africa program, co-authored a Science magazine publication entitled 'Balancing hydropower and biodiversity in the Amazon, Congo and Mekong'.

For background information on this subject we refer to the IUCN website.

10/01/2016: we wish all our followers, visitors, collaborators and colleagues in Africa and far beyond a happy, fruitful and healthy 2016.


May the New Year bring fresh ideas, new collaborations and successful projects!

10/12/2015: on 26 November RBINS-CEBioS organised a very successful event on biodiversity and development in Brussels. The abstract booklet, the programme, the summary of the day, and all presentations and posters are now available online.

Can you find Daniel Pauly's presentation and the 'FishBase for Africa' poster?

02/12/2015: on Saturday 28 November IFAN Ch. A. Diop and RMCA closed the first (and succesful) edition of the 'Local FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session. Special thanks go out to former FishBase trainees Khady Diouf Goudiaby and Oumar Sadio.

02/12/2015: only five more days left to apply for the 12th edition of the RMCA 'Fishbase and Fish Taxonomy' training session (07 March - 27 May 2016).


Interested? Have a look at the call for applications, complete your file and apply!

01/12/2015: the Distributed European School of Taxonomy (DEST) has launched its training programme for 2015-2016. Two programmes are offered: the Expert-in-training programme and the Modern taxonomy programme.

23/11/2015: today the first edition of the six day 'Local FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session kickstarted at IFAN Ch. A. Diop (Dakar, Senegal). What a pleasure to meet all these motivated scientists!

20/10/2015: the call for applications for the 12th edition of the RMCA 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session is finally here! Applications are accepted until 06 December 2015.


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

12/10/2015: please don't forget to note these dates in your diary:


- 15 October 2015: closing date for registration for the CEBioS 'Biodiversity and development, a global heritage' event (26 November 2015, Brussels).

- 19 October 2015: launch of the call for applications for the annual 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session.

- 20 November 2015: deadline for submission of concept notes for the GBIF BID programme.

30/09/2015: today Daniel Pauly, one of the founding fathers of FishBase, is participating in a live-webcast forum on citizen science and crowdsourcing in the White House. Tune in now!

21/09/2015: from 1 to 4 September 2015 FIN celebrated the 25th and 10th anniversary of FishBase and SeaLifeBase, respectively. The main event of this celebration was the day-long 13th Annual FishBase Symposium, held at IRRI (Los Baños, Philippines). For an impression of the different anniversary activities please have a look at  the FishBase Facebook page

As a proud member of the FishBase Consortium, the RMCA FishBase for Africa team wishes to thank the entire FIN-crew for this great event and the excellent organisation. See you next year!  

21/09/2015: the GBIF 'Biodiversity Information for Development' (BID) programme aims to increase the amount of biodiversity information in the 'ACP' nations. The call for proposals from sub-Saharan Africa for this programme will be issued soon. Please check the GBIF Newsroom regularly for updates.
25/08/2015:  Madagascar will host the 22nd meeting of the GBIF Governing Board (GB 22, 4-11 October 2015). This meeting includes a Science Symposium on the biodiversity of Madagscar (7 October) and a GBIF Public Symposium (9 October). Both events are open to the public.
30/07/2015:  Hurry! Tomorrow is the last day to apply for the local 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session in Dakar (Senegal).

Download the call and the application form here and send us your complete file before 31 July.

29/07/2015: the 13th FishBase Symposium (01/09-04/09) will be hosted by FIN in Los Baños (Philippines) to mark the 25th and 10th year anniversaries of FishBase and SealifeBase, respectively. The theme of the symposium is 'FishBase and SealifeBase for Teaching and Research in Aquatic Science'.
24/07/2015: registration for the RBINS-CEBioS 'Biodiversity and development, a global heritage' event (26 November 2015) is now open. For more information and registration please visit the CEBioS website

01/07/2015:  the deadline for applications for the 1st local 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session in Senegal (23-28 November 2015) is extended until 31 July 2015.


More information is available in the call for applications and on the RMCA FishBase website.

29/06/2015:  Friday 26 June was the last day of the 11th edition of the 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session at the RMCA. Five ichthyologists from Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique successfully completed the training. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and good luck in your future careers!

04/06/2015:  a team of biologists from the RMCA and the University of Leuven found that flatworms, living on the gills of Lake Tanganyika cichlids, can help to reveal the evolutionary history of their hosts. Their findings were recently published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

05/05/2015:  candidates can now apply for the 1st edition of the local 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session. The session will be held from 23 to 28 November 2015 at the IFAN Ch. A. Diop (UCAD) in Dakar (Senegal).


The call for applications and the application form are available on the RMCA and UCAD websites.

Deadline for applications: 30 June 2015.

17/04/2015: good news! This year a 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session will be held in Africa. This local session is a light version of the existing three month training at the RMCA and is the result of a joint collaboration between a former FishBase trainee and the RMCA FishBase team.

More information and the call for applications will follow shortly!

Coming soon: 


'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training in Africa

17/04/2015: last month WorldFish, NEPAD and AU-IBAR launched a new pan-African project to strengthen the continent's great potential for increased trade in fish. The project, called 'FishTrade for a Better Future', is funded by the European Commission.
04/03/2015: the Belgian Focal Point to the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) has launched an internal call for proposals for taxonomy-based research and training projects in developing countries. Deadline for submission of proposals is 17 April 2015. More.
04/03/2015: the second circular for the TropiLakes2015 conference (23-29 September 2015) in Bahir Dar (Ethiopia) is out. Deadlines: 31 May 2015 (abstracts) and 20 August 2015 (registration). Financial support for African researchers is possible thanks to funding obtained from VLIR (Belgium).
08/01/2015: the TILAPIA project (Tracing fish Introductions and LAteral Parasite transfer to Indiginous Aquatic fauna) aims (1) to reconstruct the history of the introduction of the Nile tilapia in the Congo Basin by studying the parasitic flatworms in these fish and (2) to find out if there is any risk that these worms may be transmitted to native fish species. Three RMCA reseachers are involved in this two-year project funded by the Belspo BRAIN-be programme.

05/01/2015: we wish you all a very happy and inspiring 2015!  The RMCA FishBase team looks forward to working with you in the New Year!


The application deadline for the 2015 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training is approaching! Please check the call for applications and the RMCA FishBase website for more information.

2015 FishBase and Fish Taxonomy training session


application deadline:
15 January 2015

12/12/2014: the RMCA is involved in the GENBAS (GENetic BAsis of Speciation) project. This five-year project is funded by the Belspo BRAIN-be programme and aims (1) to characterize the genomic differentiation that drives the speciation process, and (2) to verify whether/and to what extent the same genomic changes are maintaing the 'integrity' of the gene pools of the resulting sister species. These aims are investigated in the Lake Tanganyika cichlid genus Ophthalmotilapia.

07/11/2014: the call for applications for the 2015 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session is open.

Don't forget to complete the application form and to add it to your file!

2015 FishBase and Fish Taxonomy training session

application deadline:
15 January 2015

24/10/2014: the call for the 2015 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session will be launched very soon. Check the RMCA FishBase website and this news feed regularly for updates!

22/10/2014: students of the Advanced Master in Aquaculture of the Université de Liège (Belgium) visited the RMCA Ichthyology Unit on Wednesday 22 October. Other temporary visitors at the moment are Djiman Lederoun (LHA, UAC, Benin) who's studying the ichtyofauna of the Mono River, and Albert Bulimwengu Walanga (UNIKIS, DRC) working on Labeobarbus species from the Ituri region (DRC).
29/09/2014: have you discovered the FishBase Facebook page yet? Like it and keep track of FishBase-related news updates!

12/09/2014: the RMCA FishBase team attended the 12th Annual FishBase Symposium at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum (UBC, Vancouver, Canada). Proceedings follow soon.

18/08/2014: a provisional list of articles published this year by former FishBase trainees and by the RMCA Ichthyology Unit can be consulted here. PDFs are available on request.

18/07/2014: more than 220 participants from 23 different countries attended the '1st International Conference on the Biodiversity of the Congo basin' (6-10 June 2014, Kisangani, DR Congo). Their contributions and joint statement, the book of abstracts and several reports are available here.

11/07/2014: the 12th FishBase Symposium titled 'Big Old Data and Shiny New Insights: Using FishBase for Research' will be held on September 8th 2014 at the Beaty Museum of Biodiversity (University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada). For the symposium program, abstracts and other information please click here.
23/06/2014: starting next academic year (2014-2015), 3 African universities (UAC Benin, UO Burkina Faso and UAM Niger) organise a 'Master Régional Professionnel en Monitoring des ressources Aquatiques et Aménagement des Pêches continentales' or MoRAP) in collaboration with 3 Belgian institutes and with financial support of ARES-CCD. Deadline for applications is 15/08/2014.
13/06/2014: the RMCA FishBase team presented a poster titled 'FishBase for Africa - A contribution to information transfer and capacity building in African ichthyology' during the 1st International Conference on the Biodiversity of the Congo Basin, held from June 6th to 10th in Kisangani (DR Congo).

27/05/2014: five ichtyologists from Guinea, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, DRC and Madagascar successfully completed the 10th edition of the 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session at the RMCA. Thank you all for your great work and determination!
06/05/2014: a new mapping tool to visualize country reports of fishes was recently added to FishBase (e.g. Oreochromis niloticus). This feature is currently only available on the servers in Canada and in the USA. More information here.
18/04/2014: IUCN presents Enanga, a new online platform sharing testimonies from across the African Great Lakes region on the problems and promises of natural resources in this region. The aim is to engange local communities in fostering natural resource management solutions.
04/04/2014: from 10 to 22 March Belgian and Congolese biologists joined forces during the 3rd and last field expedition of the COBAFISH project. Samples of water quality, stable isotopes, macro-invertebrates and fish biodiversity were taken in the Lomami, Lubilu and Congo Rivers (DR Congo).
10/03/2014: Wanja Dorothy Nyingi (National Museums of Kenya and KENWEB), a FishBase alumnus, recently published the Guide to the Common Freshwater Fishes of Kenya. For more information please have a look here.
07/02/2014: morphological research revealed unexpected species richness in the African pike Hepsetus odoe. H. odoe is redescribed, H. cuvieri and H. lineata are revalidated, and two new species are described: H. occidentalis and H. kingsleyae. Publications (4 PDFs) available on request.
17/01/2014: from 6 to 10 June 2014 the ‘1st International Conference on the Biodiversity of the Congo Basin’ will take place in Kisangani (DRC). Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 February 2014.
18/12/2013: the Belgian Focal Point to the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) has launched a call for proposals in regard to 'taxonomic training and acces to collections in Belgium'. Deadline for applications is 16 February 2014. More.
27/11/2013: the book of abstracts of the 5th International Conference of the Pan African Fish and Fisheries Association (PAFFA), which was held in Bujumbura from 16 - 20 September 2013, is available here.
19/11/2013: the conservation status of 94 fish species of the Lake Tanganyika basin has been updated for the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species™. These are now being reviewed by the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit.

08/11/2013: REMINDER!
applications deadline for the 2014 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session (French session) is approaching! More information here

FishBase and Fish Taxonomy training applications deadline:
14 November 2013
22/10/2013: applications from Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Togo for the 2014 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session are also accepted now! Please have a look at the new call for applications. UPDATE !
01/10/2013: the call for applications for the 2014 'FishBase and Fish Taxonomy' training session is now online! Deadline for applications: 14 November 2013
13/09/2013: the new 'FishBase for Africa' website is online. Welcome!

02/09/2013: the RMCA FishBase team attended the 11th FishBase Symposium held at the University of Thessaloniki (Greece).

18/07/2013: Lepidiolamprologus nkambae changed from valid species to junior synonym of Lepidiolamprologus kendalli in FishBase.
17/06/2013: information on Galaxias zebratus checked and updated in FishBase.
06/05/2013: publication of an interview with this year's ‘FishBase and Fish Taxonomy’ trainees on the RMCA website.