In 1993 the project switched to Microsoft Access, and 1995 the first CD-ROM was released as "FishBase 100". Its initial reviews in scientific journals lauded the scope but criticized the remaining gaps in coverage. Subsequent CDs were released annually, with the FishBase 2004 release needing five CDs, or one DVD. The software needs Windows 98 or later, and is not available on any other computer platform such as Mac OS X or Linux.
FishBase first appeared on the World Wide Web in August 1996, and a webmaster was hired in the following year. In 1999 a new module on ichthyoplankton and detailed data on fish larvae identification and rearing was created (LarvalBase) under the supervision of Bernd Ueberschaer. Eventually, the complete data of the CDs became available online.
Since the year 2000, FishBase has been run by the FishBase Consortium. The consortium consists of:
As awareness of FishBase has grown among fish specialists, it has attracted over 1300 contributors and collaborators. In order to preserve its value as a scientific database, FishBase is not allowed to include original data; all of its content must be based on previously-published material.