This guide provides a structure and case study material for a computer-based course in ichthyology for upper undergraduate and graduate students in biology or environmental science.

The key resource made accessible through this guide is FishBase, a large database on the biology of fish, available on the Internet (www. fishbase.org).

Following brief introductions to ichthyology and to FishBase, and to the use of the latter to teach the former, the key aspects of ichthyology are presented in five chapters covering Evolution and Classification; Biodiversity and Morphology; Reproduction; Physiology; and Fish as Part of Exploited Ecosystems.

For each of these chapters, one or several ‘Exercises’ are presented describing how the relevant topics are covered in FishBase and describing how to access that information. ‘Tasks for the Student’ are provided, along with Internet links to relevant sources other than FishBase. For completing the exercises, students are adviced to also consult the theoretical background provided in the FishBase book (i.e., FishBase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources), which is also available online (/manual/English/contents.htm).

This is the second version of the guide, which expands that by Pauly et al. (2000). It is anticipated that this guide will continue to be updated as our experience with FishBase as a teaching tool improves. To this end, a final chapter describes how users (both students and teachers) may contribute to the updates that are anticipated for this guide, and to completing the coverage by FishBase of fishes at all levels of biological organization (i.e., individual, population, communitity, ecosystem).