Computers can help in identifying ichthyoplankton

An important method of fishery biology is the ichthyoplankton survey, used to estimate the size of a spawning stock from the numbers of eggs or larvae produced (e.g., Rankine and Bailey 1987). A precondition for such surveys is the ability to identify fish eggs and larvae. It has been shown that computerized systems in general and databases in particular can help with this task (Froese and Schöfer 1987; Froese 1988, 1989; Froese et al. 1989; Froese 1990a, 1990b; Froese and Papasissi 1990; Froese 1990b). Also, morphological characters of eggs and larvae can be used to test hypotheses about life-history strategies (e.g., Froese 1990a).

We have been looking for an institution willing to assume responsibility for the updating and further development of our existing ichthyoplankton tables, described further below. The Institut für Meereskunde, Kiel, Germany, has secured funding for the development of LarvalBase, a substantial upgrade of the existing ichthyoplankton tables in FishBase. If you are interested to collaborate with LarvalBase, please contact www.larvalbase.org.


Froese, R. 1988. The use of quadratic discriminant functions in connection with video-based measurements for identification of fish larvae. ICES C.M. 1988/L:11, 8 p.

Froese, R. 1989. Computer-aided approaches to identification. II. Numerical taxonomy. Fishbyte 7(3): 25-28.

Froese, R. 1990a. Growth strategies of fish larvae. ICES C.M. 1990/L:91, 20 p.

Froese, R. 1990b. Moderne Methoden zur Bestimmung von Fischlarven. Universität Hamburg. Doctoral thesis. 260 p.

Froese, R. and C. Papasissi 1990. The use of modern relational databases for identification of fish larvae. J. Appl. Ichthyol. 6: 37-45.

Froese, R. and W. Schöfer 1987. Computer-aided identification of fish larvae. ICES C.M. 1987/L:23, 10 p.

Froese, R., W. Schöfer, A. Röpke and D. Schnack. 1989. Computer-aided approaches to identification of aquatic organisms: the use of Expert Systems. Fishbyte 7(2):18-19.

Froese, R., I. Achenbach and C. Papasissi 1990. Computer-aided approaches to identification. III. (Conclusion). Modern databases. Fishbyte 8(2):25-27.

Rankine, P.W. and R.S. Bailey. 1987. A report on the ICES herring larval surveys in the North Sea and adjacent waters in 1986/1987. ICES C.M. 1987/H:10, 15 p.

Rainer Froese