The COUNTREF table holds country-specific information such as the official names in English, French and Spanish, the UN statistical name and code number, name and coordinates of the capital city, FAO areas, aquaculture production, shelf area, languages, international bodies and legal instruments, etc. (see buttons: FAOareas; FAO Aquaculture; Statistics; Intl. Legal Inst.). Information has been derived from sources such as the New York Times Atlas (Anon. 1992), the FAO Yearbook (FAO 1995), World Resources 1996-97 (WRI 1996), and the Microsoft Encarta 97 World Atlas (Microsoft 1996). This information was compiled mainly for internal purposes and does not imply the expression of any opinion on the part of the FishBase Team, ICLARM or any of the FishBase collaborators. We are aware that several country names are outdated and we will update them whenever feasible. Most of the information in this table has not yet been verified and we advise users to contact the countries or their respective representatives directly for more accurate and up-to-date information.

FishBase contains counts of finfish species for each country

The COUNTREF table also contains an estimate of how many fish species (marine, freshwater, total) occur in a country (Biodiversity button) and gives some statistics on their uses and status of threat (Uses button). This information is based on a count of country records in FishBase and on the literature (see ‘Different Checklist by Country’, this vol.).

We also included an estimate on how well the fishes are known, by presenting the percentage of fishes for which essential information such as growth, diet and reproduction is available in FishBase, (Key Info button).

Other buttons available are the References button which lists all references used for a particular country; the Occurrences button which gives all occurrence records of the country, and the Ciguatera button which records all reported ciguatera incidents in the country.

How to get there

You get to the COUNTREF table by clicking on the Range button in the SPECIES window, the Countries button in the STOCKS window, and the Country Info button in the COUNTRIES window. Alternatively, you click on the Reports button in the Main Menu, the Miscellaneous button in the PREDEFINED REPORTS window, and the Country Information button in the Miscellaneous Menu.


The COUNTREF table is not available on the Internet. Instead, we provide links to regularly updated information sources, such as the CIA factbook. We also link to national fish databases if we are aware of them, such as for New Caledonia, and to national fishing authorities such as in Australia, Japan and New Zealand.


Anon. 1992. The New York Times Atlas of the World. New Family Edition. Times Books, New York. 156 p.

FAO. 1995. FAO yearbook: Fishery statistics – Catches and landings 1993. Vol. 76. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. 687 p.

Microsoft. 1996. Microsoft Encarta 97 World Atlas. Microsoft, USA. CD-ROM.

WRI. 1996. World Resources 1996-97. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.
383 p.

Rainer Froese