|VIS - A database on the distribution of fishes in inland and estuarine waters in Flanders, Belgium|Brosens, D.; Breine, J.; Van Thuyne, G.; Belpaire, C.; Desmet, P.; Verreycken, H. (2015). VIS - A database on the distribution of fishes in inland and estuarine waters in Flanders, Belgium. ZooKeys 475(475): 119-145. https://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.475.8556
Ecosystem functioning, fish-based index of biotic integrity, fish distribution, freshwater, brackish water, estuary, LifeWatch, open data, occurrence, observation, River Scheldt, River Yser, River Meuse
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The Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) has been performing standardized fish stock assessments in Flanders, Belgium. This Flemish Fish Monitoring Network aims to assess fish populations in public waters at regular time intervals in both inland waters and estuaries. This monitoring was set up in support of the Water Framework Directive, the Habitat Directive, the Eel Regulation, the Red List of fishes, fish stock management, biodiversity research, and to assess the colonization and spreading of nonnative fish species. The collected data are consolidated in the Fish Information System or VIS. From VIS, the occurrence data are now published at the INBO IPT as two datasets: ‘VIS - Fishes in inland waters in Flanders, Belgium’ and ‘VIS - Fishes in estuarine waters in Flanders, Belgium’. Together these datasets represent a complete overview of the distribution and abundance of fish species pertaining in Flanders from late 1992 to the end of 2012. This data paper discusses both datasets together, as both have a similar methodology and structure. The inland waters dataset contains over 350,000 fish observations, sampled between 1992 and 2012 from over 2,000 locations in inland rivers, streams, canals, and enclosed waters in Flanders. The dataset includes 64 fish species, as well as a number of non-target species (mainly crustaceans). The estuarine waters dataset contains over 44,000 fish observations, sampled between 1995 and 2012 from almost 50 locations in the estuaries of the rivers Yser and Scheldt (“Zeeschelde”), including two sampling sites in the Netherlands. The dataset includes 69 fish species and a number of non-target crustacean species. To foster broad and collaborative use, the data are dedicated to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver and reference the INBO norms for data use.