Kwang-Tsao Shao1*, Shih-Pin Huang2, Hsin-Hua Lin1, Hang Lee1, and Pai-Lei Lin2
*1Academia Sinica Center for Digital Culture & Biodiversity Research Center Academia Sinica


The Fish Database of Taiwan ( was established in the early 1990s and has collected and integrated information such as classification, distribution, specimens, and references on 3,200 fishes of Taiwan. The contents include species descriptions (2,811 species), specimens (54,364 lots) images (3,862 ecological photos and 991 videos), skeletal X-rays (1,868 species), otoliths (1,386 species), COI gene sequences (2,447 pieces), and georeferenced data (235,000 records); all are made accessible online and constantly updated. Besides providing academic services to promote academic exchanges and raise research quality, the database also has popular science materials, underwater real-time monitoring, and marine conservation information so that it can contribute to the research, education, and management of marine resources.

In 1994, we started a long-term partnership with the global FishBase and continue to actively collaborate with other international biodiversity databases and projects, including GBIF, COL, and EOL. We conduct cross-strait collaboration with China to exchange fish specimen data and establish a parallel list of traditional and simplified Chinese fish names. The repatriation of 228 type specimens of Taiwan fishes from more than ten institutions abroad is another achievement. Currently, the database has more than 450 thousands visits per month (including search engines), and is the only member of WDS that comes from Taiwan.

As to the value-added creations and applications, many educational materials, e.g. Taiwan Fish Multimedia Dictionary, Taiwan Fish Culture and Nature Knowledge Base, Intellectual Restaurant, Augmented Reality Knowledge Cards, e-books and e-magazines, Taiwan Seafood Guide, ichthyological terms and definitions, governmental fisheries statistics, and allowed/prohibited aquatic checklists had also been compiled. Also, a cell phone version of The Fish Database of Taiwan had been developed to conform to the trend of querying real-time data.

The next steps will be providing some fish-related cultural information as well as integrating the molecular identification data of fish eggs and juveniles in Taiwan waters, so that the early life history of Taiwan fishes could be understood more and further used for limiting fisheries, MPA, and resources administration.


Shao, K. T., Jack Lin*, H. M. Yeh, M. Y. Lee, L. S. Chen, H. W. Lin (2014) A Dataset of Deep-Sea Fishes Surveyed by Research Vessels in the Waters around Taiwan. ZooKeys 466: 103-110

K. T. Shao, Jack Lin, C. H. Wu, H. M. Yeh, T. Y. Cheng (2012) A dataset from bottom trawl survey around Taiwan. ZooKeys 198: 103–109, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.198.3032

Shao, K. T.*, Y. C. Lin, H. H. Lin (2007) Linking the Taiwan fish database to the global database. Data Science Journal. Special Issue for 20th CODATA Conf. Beijing. S164-S171

K. T. Shao (2017) Taiwan Fish Database. Retrieved July 16, 2017 from the World Wide Web