The major research partner of FIN is the FishBase-SeaLifeBase Team based in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. The team comprises of academically trained staff and professionals with long years of experience as fish biologists, programmers, and graphic artists. The FishBase team is currently supervised by Dr. Nicolas Bailly, Biodiversity Informatics Scientist at WorldFish and Scientific Director of FIN. The SeaLifeBase team is currently supervised by Dr. Maria Lourdes D. Palomares, Senior Research Fellow of Sea Around Us at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and Associate Scientific Director of FIN. The overall direction and coordination of FishBase in relation to the FishBase Consortium is provided by Dr. Rainer Froese, Senior Scientist at GEOMAR-Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research.
Research collaboration of FIN with the Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia started with Sea Around Us, which focuses on global analyses of the oceans’ fisheries systems and their impact on marine ecosystems and human well-being. This research involvement has significantly increased through the years with the development of the SeaLifeBase information system for all marine organisms of the world. SeaLifeBase follows the FishBase model to create an online information system, providing access to standardized data on maximum size, distribution, depth range and ecology for non-fish marine organisms. FIN is currently managing research collaboration on Sea Life Abundance Project (SLAP), which uses both the FishBase and SeaLifeBase.
The more recent research collaboration of FIN with GEOMAR was with the INCOFISH project. FIN was awarded the implementation of WP1 on Data, Tools and Outreach. A major task of WP1 was in developing the INCOFISH web portal that consolidates and documents the tools and concepts resulting from INCOFISH research from the different workpackages. WP1 was, therefore, in constant communication with the WP Leaders from the Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull; Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History; Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Science of the National Polytechnic Institute (CICIMAR-IPN); University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Marine Science Technology; Coastal Development Centre; University of Namibia; Charles Darwin Foundation; and University of Bremen.
In 2009, FIN started the Highland Aquatic Resources Conservation and Sustainable Development (HighARCS) project which like INCOFISH is a consortium-type collaboration and is also funded by the European Union. FIN is the lead institution for WP2: on Dissemination, Monitoring and Evaluation. Partners for the other 9 workpackages are: Centre for Environment and Society, University of Essex; Centre for the Development of Human Initiatives; Institute of Environmental Studies and Wetland Management; Department of Environment; Government of West Bengal; Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1, Hanoi; Centre for Environmental Management and Participatory Design, West Bengal; IUCN Species Programme; Roskilde University, Roskilde; South China Agricultural University, Guangdong; and Department of Applied Social Science, University of Stirling.
FIN has been collaborating with its Philippine partners (government agencies and NGOs) on its initiatives on the Fish Ruler (Panukat Isda in Filipino, the national language), a product of [the] INCOFISH project, which provides the length at first maturity of selected fish species in an area. It can be used as a reference by stakeholders (fishers, retailers and consumers) to avoid the capture, sale, and consumption of immature (small) fish, thus encouraging fishers and consumers alike to ensure the continuity of fish stocks in our oceans by avoiding growth overfishing.
The Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), in collaboration with FIN and The WorldFish Center, launched a nationwide IEC (Information Education Communication) campaign for the Panukat Isda during the 45th Fish Conservation Week celebration in October 2008. BFAR announced its objective to intensify its campaign against catching juvenile fishes using the Panukat Isda.
FIN and NFDRI trained the staff of the Philippine Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) on measuring fish sizes with the Panukat Isda. Afterwhich, BAS did a survey on fish sizes and prices in major markets in Metro Manila. An economic valuation of the loss (or gain) if fishes are harvested early (or are allowed to reach maturity before harvest), is now being done. The WorldFish Center and FIN are also developing regional Fish Identification Field Guides for BAS enumerators for correct identification of fish species in their data recording and monitoring activities, thus improving fisheries statistics.
The World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-P) is also a research partner in developing various fish rulers for sustainable fisheries in their projects. FIN and The WorldFish Center conducted an orientation-workshop on the Panukat Isda, attended by representatives from its key project sites in Tawi-Tawi, El Nido, Donsol, Puerto Galera and Mabini-Tingloy. Except for El Nido, fish rulers were developed and distributed by the WWF-P.
FIN and the WorldFish Center worked with the Conservation International-Philippines (CI-P) to develop fish rulers from fish maturity posters on the Verde Island Passage, Cagayan Ridge and Balabac Strait. The collaboration also included participating as resource persons in the workshops and training of stakeholder consultations on the technical aspects of the fish ruler and its use as a tool for fisheries management particularly in the Sulu Sulawesi Seascape marine biodiversity conservation corridors. Fish rulers for the Verde Island Passage and Cagayan Ridge were developed and distributed to the fishing communities by the CI-P.