Is the Fishbase API still operational and available for public use?

Dear ropensci team and contributors,

I am interested in developing a web application using React.js / Next / TypeScript to serve as a ‘lite’ version of your popular project.

I looked at the API documentation below which may be very dated (and seems incomplete):

When testing some simple GET queries, I get a nonauthorized error, but the API does state that it is free to use and does not require authentication.

Can anyone advise? I just want to make a non-commercial app for people to be able to see information about fish based on their common or scientific name.


Adam Turner

The ancient ruby-based API described there is not maintained. Cached versions of the fishbase tables are available over the popular AWS S3 API, though these are not currently documented! No authentication is required.

You can also access individual tables from the Fishbase directly over a standard HTTP request, e.g., Popular libraries such as Apache Arrow or duckdb provide client libraries in most languages for subsetting from parquet.

Being able to query fishbase data through professionally developed APIs such as S3, arrow, and duckdb should give much better performance and avoids the maintenance and security issues associated with the old, hand-rolled REST endpoints. It may be more suitable for research use then for general apps though, I’m not sure.

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