Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Database Guides: ASFA

Information about using the various databases in the A-Z Online Resources,


Full name

Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (abbreviated to ASFA)

What is it?

ASFA indexes aquaculture, aquatic sciences and fisheries publications, (journals, reports, monographs, dissertations, grey literature and conference proceedings). Covers publications from 1971 onwards.Updated monthly. Equivalent to the paper publication: Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts.


ASFA is part of our Aquatic Science Collection from Proquest, therefore search results will include records from outwith ASFA.


Subjects covered: Aquaculture, Aquatic organisms, Aquatic pollution, Brackish water environments, Conservation, Environmental quality, Fisheries, Freshwater environments, Limnology, Marine biotechnology, Marine environments, Meteorology, Oceanography, Policy and legislation, Wildlife management.


ASFA is created from a series of smaller databases:


  •  Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) 1: Biological Sciences & Living Resources‎ (1971 - current) 

Covers: Marine, freshwater and brackish water organisms - journal articles

  •  Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) 2: Ocean Technology, Policy & Non-Living Resources‎ (1971 - current) 

Covers: Oceanography, limnology, coastal structures - journal articles

  •   Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) 3: Aquatic Pollution & Environmental Quality‎ (1990 - current) 

Covers: Aquatic pollution, prevention and control - journal articles

  •   Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) Aquaculture Abstracts‎ (1984 - current) 

Covers: Aquaculture, culture of fish and other organisms - journal articles

  •  Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) Marine Biotechnology Abstracts‎ (1989 - current) 

Covers: Molecular biotechnology, cell/tissue culture - journal articles


What is it for?

Use ASFA to find publications on anything to do with the wet environment.

How to access it

Login to the Portal and then choose ASFA from the A-Z List of Online Resources.

How to search

See Successful Search Techniques.

There is an Easy Search Option but we recommend selecting the Advanced Search to find every article with a mention of your topic or for a topic that has had relatively little work done on it.  Otherwise, carry out a thesaurus search.

From the Advanced Search screen select the type of search you wish to conduct from the drop-down box
e.g. Choose All Fields, to search all fields in the citation and abstract.

Truncation: use * at the end of a word, e.g., feed* will find feeds , feeding, feedstuff, etc.

Spelling variants: The search is automatically set up to recognise spelling variants of American and British versions of words, for example, a search for behaviour will automatically find both behaviour and behavior 

Use Field searching to be precise:

e.g., type in aquaculture and select Document Title - TI from the drop-down box to find items where aquaculture appears in the title of the article;

to search on one of the three types of environment type in either FreshwaterMarine or Brackish and select Environmental Regime - ER= from the drop-down box.

Thesaurus Search: Use the Thesaurus (above the Advanced Search boxes on the right) to improve the relevance of your search results: it will find articles where your search term is one of the main topics in the article. There are two separate thesauri listed: one for subject terms and the other for taxonomic terms. Choose the relevant thesaurus.

(Note: ASFA is part of the larger Aquatic Science Collection, if you use the ASFA Thesaurus option to search you will automatically exclude records from the other databases in the Collection because they don't use ASFA thesaurus). 


Combining searches: searches can be combined by selecting the recent searches link at the top righthand side of the Advanced Search screen. Then type the search set numbers to combine searches, for example: 2 and 3


Full text?

Click on the Find@Stir button Find@Stir button, which provides links to the full text of the journal if available, or to the library catalogue, to check if we have the item in paper format.




Records can be downloaded into RefWorks (a software product for managing references and formatting bibliographies).



Further help
Click on Help (top righthand side). See also ASFA's own guide from Proquest.

Searching ASFA (Aquatic Sciences & Fisheries Abstracts)

Link to ASFA