About OBIS

Last updated on Tue, 2012-09-18 08:14. Originally submitted by julio on 2010-05-21 19:34.

The Ocean Biogeographic information System (OBIS) seeks to absorb, integrate, and assess isolated datasets into a larger, more comprehensive pictures of life in our oceans. The system hopes to stimulate research about our oceans to generate new hypotheses concerning evolutionary processes, species distributions, and roles of organisms in marine systems on a global scale. The abstract maps that OBIS generates are maps that contribute to the ‘big picture’ of our oceans: a comprehensive, collaborative, world-wide view of our oceans.

OBIS provides a portal or gateway to many datasets containing information on where and when marine species have been recorded. The datasets are integrated so you can search them all seamlessly by species name, higher taxonomic level, geographic area, depth, and time; and then map and find environmental data related to the locations. OBIS aims to be:

  • authoritative, professional, and credible
  • concise, easily read and understood, and use minimal jargon 
  • user friendly with a logical consistent design and flow
  • regularly updated. 

Please let us know how to improve our aims by emailing info@iobis.org. We are working to make OBIS as comprehensive as possible.

OBIS is a project of:
IOC-UNESCO
IODE Sponsored by:
Martin International and Les Grands Explorateurs
With in-kind support from:
Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab, Duke University
Universidad Simón Bolívar Flanders Marine Institute

OBIS strives to document the ocean's diversity, distribution and abundance of life. Created by the Census of Marine Life, OBIS is now part of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, under its International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) programme.