Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA)

Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (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). About 3 500 new bibliographic references are added each month to the database. Each bibliographic reference contains: the title of the document in its original language (all non-English titles are also translated into English), an English language and/or non-English language abstract and subject, taxonomic and geographic index entries as relevant.

ASFA is produced through the cooperative efforts of the following ASFA Partners:

  • United Nations co-sponsoring ASFA Partners (FAO, IOC, UNDOALOS and UNEP, which is in the process of renewing its sponsorship of ASFA). These four partners, besides input preparation, also take responsibility for assisting developing countries to participate in the ASFA Partnership.
  • International ASFA Partners ADRIAMED ICCAT (ICES, IOTC, IUCN, NACA, NAFO, PIMRIS, SPC and the WorldFish Center). These ten partners contribute to ASFA by producing bibliographic references to the literature published within their geographic or subject area, including their own publications.
  • National ASFA Partners (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guineau, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lao People's Democratic, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Norway, People's Republic of China, Peru, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Uruguay and Viet Nam). These 45 partners contribute to ASFA by producing bibliographic references to the literature published within their own countries.
  • The Publishing ASFA Partner (CSA). The ASFA Partners submit their input (in computer readable format) to CSA, located in the United States (CSA itself also prepares a large portion of the ASFA input). CSA processes the input received from the ASFA Partners by computer and merges it to create a Master File (i.e. the ASFA database). From the Master File, CSA produces the ASFA information products and services, which CSA then distributes back to the ASFA Partners for use in their respective information systems. CSA also makes the ASFA products available commercially to the public.

The overall objective of the ASFA Partnership is to disseminate information on aquatic sciences and fisheries to the world community, bearing in mind the special interests of developing countries in this field.

The ASFA "Partnership Agreement" explains the rights and responsibilities of the ASFA Partners (the rights, or entitlements, of ASFA Partners are only referred to in the ASFA Partnership Agreement. The actual list of entitlements is contained in Article 5 of the Publishing Agreement Between FAO and CSA). To become a member of the ASFA Partnership, organizations must agree (through signature) to the conditions contained in the ASFA Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement also lists the functions of the ASFA Advisory Board and the ASFA Secretariat.

All ASFA Partners are represented on the ASFA Advisory Board, which meets once a year and produces annual ASFA Advisory Board Meeting Reports. FAO provides the ASFA Secretariat.

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