Online Resources

From the Burke

The resources on this page are designed for research reference and use.

This collection is comprised of roughly 2.4 million pairs of fish otoliths, representing 83 species in 41 genera and 17 families.

Ichthyology specimens

The Burke’s Ichthyology Collection includes more than 11 million specimens, including adults, juveniles, larvae, eggs, skeletons, tissues, otoliths and scales. Roughly 98% of the Ichthyology Collection is cataloged, databased and available to search.

illustration of fishes of Puget Sound

What fishes are in the waters of Puget Sound? Explore these and more with this unique guide to the families of fishes in Puget Sound.

From Other Organizations
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS)

The UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) is located in the southwest expansion area of the main campus. The school includes 30 faculty (and 16 emeritus faculty), 125 graduate students and 100 undergraduate majors, and about 90 administrative and research staff. The breadth and scope of SAFS encompasses programs for undergraduate and graduate teaching, research and service in basic and applied aquatic sciences, with an emphasis on fisheries management and aquatic resource conservation. Visit their website.

Gilbert Ichthyological Society

The Gilbert Ichthyological Society (GIS), founded in 1989, is a group whose primary purpose is to foster communication in the Pacific Northwest concerning all things ichthyological. The Society honors Charles Henry Gilbert (1859‒1928), a pioneer of early ichthyology in the western United States, who was either solely, or through collaboration, responsible for describing 620 species of fishes. Visit their website.

Tree of Life

The Tree of Life Web Project (ToL) is a collaborative effort of biologists and nature enthusiasts from around the world. On more than 10,000 web pages, the project provides information about biodiversity, the characteristics of different groups of organisms and their evolutionary history. Visit their website.

Encyclopedia of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life (EoL) is a web-based project designed to increase awareness and understanding of living nature through an Encyclopedia of Life that gathers, generates, and shares knowledge about all life-forms on earth, including animals, plants, fungi, protists, and bacteria, in an open, freely accessible and trusted digital resource. Visit their website.

Natural Science Collections Alliance

The Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSC Alliance) is a nonprofit association that supports natural science collections, their human resources, the institutions that house them and their research activities for the benefit of science and society. Institutional members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities. Visit their website.

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH) is dedicated to the scientific study of fishes, amphibians and reptiles. The primary emphases of the Society are to increase knowledge about these organisms, to disseminate that knowledge through publications, conferences, symposia, and other means, and to encourage and support young scientists who will make future advances in these fields. The programs of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists are part of a global effort to interpret, understand and conserve the Earth's natural diversity and to contribute to the wise use of natural resources for the long-term benefit of humankind. Visit their website.

American Elasmobranch Society

The American Elasmobranch Society (AES) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the scientific study of living and fossil sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras; and the promotion of education, conservation and wise utilization of natural resources. The Society holds annual meetings and presents research reports of interest to professionals and students of elasmobranch biology. Visit their website.

American Fisheries Society

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science and conserving fisheries resources. The mission of the Society is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. Visit their website.

Ichthyological Society of Japan

The Ichthyological Society of Japan (ISJ) was established in 1968 to advance and disseminate the study of fishes and fish biology. Society members meet annually in October and also in many irregular symposia. The ISJ publishes the Ichthyological Research and the Japanese Journal of Ichthyology. Visit their website.


FishBase is a web-based information service that provides biological and taxonomic information on marine and freshwater fishes of the world, easily accessible and free-of-charge to all user-groups. As the largest and most extensively accessed online database devoted to fishes, it has evolved into a dynamic and versatile ecological tool, widely cited in scholarly publications. Visit their website.

Catalog of Fishes

The Catalog of Fishes is an authoritative reference for taxonomic fish names, featuring a searchable online database. Hosted and maintained by the Department of Ichthyology of the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, it has been updated continuously since the early 1980s. In addition to currently recognized scientific names, it catalogs species by family and subfamily, and provides comparable information on family group names, ichthyology collections and ichthyology journals. Visit their website.

Ichthyoplankton Information System

The Ichthyoplankton Information System (IIS) is a web-based resource that provides access to information on the early life history of fishes collected by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. The site can be used to identify unknown fish eggs and larvae—by comparing specimens with known data such as meristics, distribution and illustrations of developmental stages—or as a source of original data on the early life history stages of fishes of the eastern North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. Visit their website.


VertNet is a NSF-funded collaborative project that makes biodiversity data free and available on the web. VertNet is a tool designed to help people discover, capture and publish biodiversity data. It is also the core collaboration between hundreds of biocollections that contribute biodiversity data and work together to improve it. VertNet is an engine for training current and future professionals to use and build upon best practices in data quality, curation, research and data publishing. Visit their website.


The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international open data infrastructure, funded by governments. It allows anyone, anywhere to access data about all types of life on Earth, shared across national boundaries via the Internet. By encouraging and helping institutions to publish data according to common standards, GBIF enables research not possible before, and informs better decisions to conserve and sustainably use the biological resources of the planet. GBIF operates through a network of nodes, coordinating the biodiversity information facilities of Participant countries and organizations, collaborating with each other and the Secretariat to share skills, experiences and technical capacity. GBIF's vision: "A world in which biodiversity information is freely and universally available for science, society and a sustainable future."  Visit their website.


The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) is an evolving strategic alliance of people and organizations sharing a vision to make marine biogeographic data, from all over the world, freely available over the web. OBIS is tailored towards global awareness of our oceans and global contribution to knowledge about our oceans. OBIS provides a portal or gateway to many datasets containing information on where and when marine species have been recorded. The datasets are integrated so you can search them all seamlessly by species name, higher taxonomic level, geographic area, depth and time; and then map and find environmental data related to the locations. The OBIS portal has a large spectrum of users: researchers, fishery scientists and managers, policy maker, educators, amateur naturalists, environmental NGO, consultants, nature conservation organizations and students. Visit their website.


Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) is the National Resource for Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) funded by the National Science Foundation. Through ADBC, data and images for millions of biological specimens are being made available in electronic format for the research community, government agencies, students, educators and the general public. Visit their website.


The Fish Barcode of Life Initiative (FISH-BOL) is a global effort, creating a valuable public resource in the form of an electronic database containing DNA barcodes, images, and geospatial coordinates of examined specimens. The database contains linkages to voucher specimens, information on species distributions, nomenclature, authoritative taxonomic information, collateral natural history information and literature citations. Visit their website.

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections

The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections [SPNHC] is an international society whose mission is to improve the preservation, conservation and management of natural history collections to ensure their continuing value to society. Visit their website.

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