FIGIS is designed according to guiding principles:
The FIGIS system, using leading edge web-based information technologies (e.g. XML and Java), has developed Internet-based tools and functionality with the view to promote more effective and focussed cooperation between information sources, within FAO as well as between FAO, regional fisheries management organisations and national centres of excellence.In its first phase FIGIS's priority has been to modernise drastically, improve and streamline the global flow of information about fishery statistics, fishery resources and stock status and trends. In a second phase, the streamlining concept will be extended upstream the data collection mechanism with FIGIS also including the provision of methodological and operational tools that will assist the production of fishery statistical data at grassroot level.
The programme is global in scope.
The project supporting the development of the Fisheries Global Information System (FIGIS) started in February 1999 and was closed in December 2005. This project was co-funded by the FAO Regular Programme and a Japanese trust fund, with additional support from a French trust fund. FIGIS has in the meantime been institutionalised as part of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department Regular Programme, which ensures its maintenance and further development together with complementary projects.