Sampling event

VIS - Non-native fish in Flanders, Belgium

Latest version published by Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) on 14 May 2024 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 404 records in English (205 KB) - Update frequency: as needed
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Metadata as an RTF file download in English (16 KB)


Non-native Fish in Flanders, Belgium is a sampling event dataset published by the Research Institute of Nature and Forest (INBO). It is part of the VIS database in which data are collected to monitor the status of fishes and their habitats in Flanders,. This dataset contains fish counts of exotic fish in Flanders. Here, it is published as a standardized Darwin Core Archive and includes for each sampling event an eventID, date, location and sampling protocol (in the event core) and for each occurrence and occurrenceID, the number of recorded individuals, status (present/absent) and scientific name (in the occurrence extension). Issues with the dataset can be reported at

We have released this dataset to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver. We would appreciate it if you follow the INBO norms for data use ( when using the data. If you have any questions regarding this dataset, don't hesitate to contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata or via

For all published VIS datasets occurrences, see

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 404 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Event (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Verreycken H, Brosens D (2024). VIS - Non-native fish in Flanders, Belgium. Version 1.7. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Samplingevent dataset.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: b18ab2ec-1838-40db-b3b2-631a8dcabf61.  Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


Samplingevent; IAS; exotic fish; monitoring; freshwater; invasive species; alien species; non-indigenous species; citizen science; angling


Hugo Verreycken
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Dimitri Brosens
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • User
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)/ Belgian Biodiversity Platform

Geographic Coverage

Flanders, Belgium

Bounding Coordinates South West [50.67, 2.53], North East [51.51, 5.94]

Taxonomic Coverage

Non native fishes in Flanders, Belgium

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2006-06-22 / 2024-05-03

Project Data

The Fish Information System or VIS is a database created by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) which is used to monitor the status of fishes and their habitats in Flanders, Belgium and to calculate the biotic integrity (Karr 1981, Belpaire et al. 2000, Breine et al. 2004, 2007, 2010) of fish assemblages. It contains data regarding occurrences, individual morphometrics, stocks, pollutants, indices, and non-native fish species. Sampling has been going on since 1992, the database model was designed in 1994 (Verbiest et al. 1994), the first database developed in 1996 (Verbiest et al. 1996), and the consolidated database set up in 2001. VIS is used for supporting NATURA 2000, an ecological network of protected areas in Europe and to calculate the EQR (Ecological Quality Ratio) in the framework of the EU Water Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC). Further, the database provides updated information for Flemish Red Lists of fishes and lampreys (Verreycken et al. 2014) and on the distribution status of non-native and invasive fish species. It is also used for reporting the status of invasive fish species in the framework of the EU Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species. The data are also crucial in fish stock management and for reporting on the status of the European eel stock as required by the Eel Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) N° 1100/2007).

Title Vis Information System
Identifier VIS
Funding Flemish Government
Study Area Description Flanders, Belgium

The personnel involved in the project:

Hugo Verreycken

Sampling Methods

Standardized sampling methods were used as described in Belpaire et al. (2000) and Van Thuyne (2010) and are specified in the dataset as dwc:samplingProtocol. For this dataset, also other methods like angling (1 hour on 1m²) were used.

Study Extent The data in this dataset is a subset of the complete VIS database and holds data from the project Non-native fish in Flanders, Belgium.’ The geographic coordinates in both datasets are those of the defined sampling locations (dwc:locationID). The coordinate UncertaintyInMeters is set to 30 meter for this dataset.
Quality Control Data are collected by specialists using a predefined sampling protocol.

Method step description:

  1. The data are standardized to Darwin Core (Wieczorek et al. 2012) with a custom SQL view on the original VIS database and then published making use of the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit (Robertson et al. 2014) instance at the INBO ( The Darwin Core terms ( in the dataset at the time of publication are: Event Core eventID, type, language, license, rightsHolder, accessRights, datasetID, institutionCode, datasetName, informationWithheld, habitat, samplingProtocol, samplingEffort, eventDate, verbatimEventDate, locationID, continent, waterBody, countryCode, verbatimLocality, decimalLatitude, decimalLongitude, geodeticDatum, coordinateUncertaintyInMeters, verbatimLatitude, verbatimLongitude, verbatimCoordinateSystem, verbatimSRS Occurrence extension occurrenceID, eventID, collectionCode, recordedBy, individualCount, identifiedBy, scientificName , kingdom, taxonRank, scientificNameAuthorship, vernacularName nomenclaturalCode, occurrenceStatus
  2. Researchers from INBO and Natuurpunt Studie define and document the appropriate sampling protocol.
  3. Fieldwork is planned and coordinated by INBO.
  4. Data are collected in the field by specialized personnel, using the predefined sampling protocol.
  5. Collaborators enter the collected data in the VIS database.
  6. A custom SQL view is created in the VIS database to map the original data to Darwin Core as an event core with an occurrence extension.
  7. The Darwin Core views are connected to the INBO IPT and documented with metadata.

Bibliographic Citations

  1. 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: 119-145.
  2. Verreycken H, Galle L, Lambeens L, Maes Y, Terrie T, Van den Bergh E and Breine JJ 2019. First record of the naked goby, Gobiosoma bosc (Actenopterygii: Perciformes: Gobiidae) from the Zeeschelde (Belgium). Acta Ichthyologia et Piscatoria 49 (3): 291–294 DOI: 10.3750/AIEP/02688
  3. Breine JJ, Van den Bergh E, Terrie T, Lambeens I, Maes Y, Galle L and Verreycken H, 2019. First record of the target fish, Terapon jarbua (Forsskål, 1775) in the Zeeschelde, Belgium. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
  4. Verhelst P, Boets P, Van Thuyne G, Verreycken H, Goethals PLM & Mouton AM, 2016. The distribution of an invasive fish species is highly affected by the presence of native fish species: evidence based on species distribution modeling. Biological Invasions 18 (2): 427-444.
  5. Mombaerts M, Verreycken H, Volckaert F & Huyse T, 2014. The invasive round goby Neogobius melanostomus and tubenose goby Proterorhinus semilunaris: two introduction routes into Belgium. Aquatic Invasions 9 (3): 305-314.
  6. Cammaerts R, Spikmans F, van Kessel N, Verreycken H, Chérot F, Demol T & Richez S, 2012. Colonization of the Border Meuse area (The Netherlands and Belgium) by the non-native western tubenose goby Proterorhinus semilunaris (Heckel, 1837) (Teleostei, Gobiidae). Aquatic Invasions 7 (2): 251-258.
  7. Verreycken H, Breine J, Snoeks J & Belpaire C, 2011. First record of the round goby, Neogobius melanostomus (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Gobiidae) in Belgium. Acta Ichthyologica et Piscatoria 41 (2): 137-140.
  8. Verreycken H, Geeraerts C, Duvivier C & Belpaire C, 2010. Present status of the North American Umbra pygmaea (DeKay, 1842) (eastern mudminnow) in Flanders (Belgium) and in Europe. Aquatic Invasions 5 (1): 83-96.
  9. Verreycken H, Anseeuw D, Van Thuyne G, Quataert P & Belpaire C, 2007. The non-indigenous freshwater fishes of Flanders (Belgium): review, status and trends over the last decade. Journal of Fish Biology 71 suppl. D: 160-172.

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers b18ab2ec-1838-40db-b3b2-631a8dcabf61