The FAO Fisheries Department has a high priority to compile, analyse and disseminate fishery data and information as well as to provide advice and objective information services to the Member governments in order to promote responsible aquaculture and fisheries. Access to data and methodologies, and the availability of the results of past and new research, are fundamental to helping improve global fisheries management.
The Fisheries Department has been responsible for a broad range of publications on fisheries. Since 1968 it has produced over 20 000 titles. The best-known and most widely distributed FAO fisheries publications are the Fisheries Technical Papers, Fisheries Reports, FAO Yearbooks of Fishery Statistics, Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries and the flagship State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture. FAO has an online catalogue to facilitate the distribution of bibliographic data on its publications.
Another major information initiative is the Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) - a comprehensive bibliographic database on fisheries-related material. ASFA is an abstracting and indexing service covering the world's literature on the science, technology, management and conservation of marine, brackish water and freshwater resources and environments, including socio-economic and legal aspects. The ASFA bibliographic database contains over one million references, with coverage since 1971 (all are computer searchable).