This table represents our attempt at incorporating fish as consumable products into FishBase.


As presently conceived, the table consists of four elements:

Fish as consumable products
  1. a set of fields identifying species and stock, and the Locality from where the reported fish samples were obtained (because regional differences of taste, texture, etc. do occur);

  2. fields for presenting the contribution to overall Body weight of different body parts, i.e., Head, Trunk, Skin, Fins, Bones, Meat, Fillet, Viscera, Roe, Testes, Liver;

  3. fields for entering the gross chemical composition (percent Moisture, Protein, Fat and Ash) of different body parts (meat/fillet; liver; roe; viscera; head/bone/fins; waste/offal), and

  4. a Remarks field for presentation of organoleptic properties given different modes of preparation (frying, smoking, canning, etc.). Comment fields are also provided for any other remarks pertaining to weight proportions and chemical composition.

Data for percentage weight and chemical composition of different body parts are accessed by clicking on the Weight proportions and Chemical composition buttons, respectively.


Almost all of the entries so far (682 records for 505 fish species) stem from Bykov (1983); indeed, the PROCESSING table was largely developed to accommodate the entries in this book.

With hindsight, however, we feel that this table needs to be thoroughly revised, such as to enable:

  • replacing the often vague entries in the Remarks field by a set of multiple choice fields, to allow standardization of organoleptic properties, processing methods and description of physical appearance;

  • accommodating the detailed and extensive chemical analyses in Vinogradov (1953), the products in OECD (1978) and other similar compilations, and possibly the cookbooks and fish recipes of various cultures; and

  • linking with the COMMON NAMES table, which also includes (brief) product descriptions (see the ‘COMMON NAMES table’, this vol.)

We would appreciate responses by colleagues interested in collaborating with us on this¾ a development that would make FishBase useful to a whole new group of users.

How to get there

You get to the PROCESSING table by clicking on the Biology button in the SPECIES window, the Fish as food button in the BIOLOGY window and the Processing button in the following window.


As of December 2000, the PROCESSING table was not yet accessible on the Internet.


Bykov, V.P. 1983. Marine fishes: chemical composition and processing properties. Amerind Publishing Co., New Delhi. 333 p.

OECD. 1978. Multilingual dictionary of fish and fish products. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris. 430 p.

Vinogradov, A.P. 1953. The elementary chemical composition of marine organisms. Memoirs, Sears Foundation for Marine Research II, New Haven. 647 p.

Daniel Pauly, Emily Capuli and Rainer Froese