Ocean Database Features Updated Marine Status and Trends
Photo by Andrzej Kryszpiniuk
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OBIS is a global, open-access data and information clearinghouse on marine biodiversity for science, conservation and sustainable development.

OBIS 2.0 is now aligned with the World Register of Marine Species.

29 January 2019: The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) released an updated version of its ocean database. The database’s new infrastructure and technology enable new data to be immediately processed, integrated into the database and made publicly available.

OBIS is a global, open-access data and information clearinghouse on marine biodiversity for science, conservation and sustainable development. OBIS aims to be a comprehensive gateway to global ocean biodiversity and biogeographic data and information necessary to tackle coastal and ocean concerns. Over 20 OBIS nodes around the world connect 500 institutions from 56 countries that have provided over 45 million observations of nearly 120,000 marine species. Information from OBIS includes data on the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine organization, as a contribution to the Aichi Biodiversity Target 19 (on improving, sharing and applying knowledge, the science base and technologies relating to biodiversity by 2020) as well as other global processes like the UN World Ocean Assessment (WOA).

OBIS 2.0 features an additional three million occurrences from 189 new datasets. The database includes ecosystem Essential Ocean Variables to support the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) on the status and trends of marine biodiversity and habitats. In addition, OBIS 2.0 is now aligned with the World Register of Marine Species, which means that records are dropped from the OBIS database when they are from species that are not in the World Register of Marine Species or listed as non-marine.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) adopted OBIS as a project in 2009. IOC-UNESCO is the custodian agency for SDG target 14.a on marine scientific research. [OBIS Press Release]

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