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The Italian Central Institute for Marine Research (ICRAM) in its computerisation process proposed to FAO, Fisheries Department to jointly design and develop a "typical" DataBase and Information System for a fishery institution to be used by ICRAM as a prototype and by the FAO Fisheries Department as a "visible" model to be proposed to other countries in the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) area for their national decision making needs.

The document produced by the ITAFISH team, after the completion of the work, describes the methodology developed, the solutions adopted and the elements constituting the Decision Support System. It has been prepared in Italian and English.

ITAFISH, in its regional context, has already been used by FAO-COPEMED Project as a base to develop its "Fishery Research and Development" regional DataBase, and by the FAO-ADRIAMED project as the backbone to build up the sub-regional information system ADRIAFISH, as support to Sub-regional decision making.

The decision to publish it in English, in the "GFCM Studies and Reviews" series, was taken to comply with the many requests from individuals and Institutions to use it as a reference document as well as an information guide on how a national Decision Support System could be constructed using approaches that have been successfully developed and tested.