FIGIS was conceived in a context of great stress on most major fishery resources and a worldwide concern about the state of the resources and some of their non-sustainable uses. For yet under-utilised stocks, the risk of over-utilization is amplified by globalisation of trade in fish and fishery products. When the 1995 Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries was approved as a basis for policies aimed at sustainable fisheries, a major need for reliable, high-quality and relevant information on the state of world fisheries was identified.
FIGIS - the fisheries global information system - was established to address this need. With the adoption by the Committee on Fisheries of the Strategy for Improving Information on Status and Trends of Capture Fisheries (STF) on 28 February 2003, FIGIS becomes one of the privileged tools for its implementation.