New OBIS node in Malaysia

The Institute of Oceanography and Environment (INOS) of the University of Malaysia Terengganu joined the OBIS network as the OBIS node in Malaysia.

April 13, 2017 - OBISMalaysia OBIS node

What can OBIS do for a new UN Treaty on marine biodiversity in the open ocean?

This week, the United Nations are concluding the third of four sessions to prepare for a new treaty to conserve and sustainably use marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (50% of our planet’s surface). Last week, several delegates strongly proposed to build on existing structures, and referred to OBIS in the context of data access and technology transfer.

April 03, 2017 - OBISPREPCOM-3 BBNJ

Healthy Oceans, Resilient Islands

Nearly 100 representatives of 35 Small Islands and Developing States (SIDS), including experts from the UN and EU, met at the IODE/OBIS project office 7-9 March 2017 to discuss SIDS specific challenges and opportunities to prepare for the 3rd Preparatory Committee Meeting on a potential new UN Treaty on Biodiversity Beyond areas of National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). Programmes of the IOC of UNESCO including OBIS was recognized as a platform from which to build on.

March 24, 2017 - OBISSIDS BBNJ

Call for Applications, OBIS Training course, 17-20 July 2017, Dakar, Senegal

An OBIS training course will be organized in Senegal, preferably for French speaking scientists and data managers in Africa. The training course is organized by the Centre de Recherches Océanographiques de Dakar-Thiaroye, which is the OBIS node in Senegal and one of the Regional Training Centres of UNESCO-IOC's OceanTeacher Global Academy. This OBIS training course is funded through the Flanders UNESCO Trust Fund (FUST) for the support of UNESCO's activities in the field of Science.

March 13, 2017 - OBISOBIS training Senegal

OBIS Training course Mérida, Mexico, 27/2-3/3 2017

OBIS training course in Mexico completed successfully. This is one of several training courses on marine biodiversity data management that will be organized in Latin America in 2017, making use of OceanTeacher learning platform.

March 13, 2017 - Carolina Peralta, Diana Ugalde and Venus RochaOBIS training Mexico

CPPS joins OBIS as a new OBIS node in the South Pacific

The Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS) has become an IODE Associate Data Unit and joined OBIS as a new OBIS node. CPPS is an intergovernmental body created in 1952. This Regional Maritime Organization promotes and articulates the cooperation and coordination of the maritime policies of its Member States: Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. CPPS administrates two online information systems: the Information System on Marine Biodiversity and Protected Areas (SIBIMAP) and the geoportal of the Southeast Pacific Data and Information Network to Support the Integrated Coastal Area Management Project (SPINCAM). One of the CPPS objectives is become a knowledge node in the region and provide a permanent platform to integrate data from different projects and programmes carried out in the region. We welcome CPPS to the OBIS network!

February 24, 2017 - OBISOBIS nodes CPPS

6th OBIS Steering Group meeting, Okinawa, Japan

The 6th session of the IODE Steering Group for OBIS took place on 1-3 February 2017, at Okinawa (Japan). The meeting was kindly hosted by the Japanese OBIS node based at JAMSTEC’s Global Oceanographic Data Center (GODAC). Important topics for discussion were (i) representation of the contributions from the network of OBIS nodes and data providers, (ii) agreement on a succession plan for inactive nodes, (iii) implementation of the new OBIS-ENV-DATA standard, (iv) OBIS2.0 technical developments (v) strategize OBIS training, (vi) engagement with the observing community and (vii) our contribution in the science-policy and assessment domain, among many other operational issues. The full agenda kept us busy for 3 days. 沖縄にようこそ

January 30, 2017 - OBISSG-OBIS-VI Okinawa

Expanding OBIS beyond species occurrences

A new open-access OBIS paper ( is just published and proposes a standard and technological solution for the publication of combined biological, physical and chemical measurements as well as sampling methodology. The paper is the result of the OBIS-ENV-DATA pilot project which ran under the International Oceanographic Data and information Exchange (IODE) programme of IOC-UNESCO.

January 12, 2017 - OBISenvironmental data standards sampling event

New data loaded, 23 Dec 2016

On December 23th, 705,000 records from 94 new datasets, and 1,779 new marine species, were added to OBIS. The current version of the OBIS database now has 47.78 million occurrences of 117,345 species. The database report with a full dataset overview is available here.

December 23, 2016 - OBISnew data load

In Memoriam - Richard J. Lisovsky

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing away of Dr Richard J. Lisovsky

December 15, 2016 - Oleksandr Neprokin (OBIS Black Sea)in memoriam OBIS BlackSea

New agreement to coordinate a global marine biodiversity observing system

Three major initiatives (GOOS, OBIS and GEOBON MBON) signed a collaboration agreement to join efforts towards a sustained, coordinated global ocean system of marine biological and ecosystem observations to support management decisions and address relevant science and societal needs. OBIS plays a key role in fostering wider data sharing, curation and aggregation in order to streamline the feeding of integrated and quality controlled datasets into models and forecasts.

December 15, 2016 - OBISpartnership observing system

CLOSED, Job opening at OBIS - Data Science Officer

IOC of UNESCO is seeking to recruit a Data Science Officer to join the OBIS secretariat based at the IOC Project Office for IODE in Oostende (Belgium), to provide data management support to the secretariat, customer support and training to the network of OBIS nodes and its user community. An important part of the job will include working for the European Commission Horizon 2020 project on monitoring Ecosystem Services (ECOPOTENTIAL). The job requires excellent data management, analytical and communication skills. Deadline for applications: 15 January 2017.

December 09, 2016 - OBISvacancy data science officer

5th OBIS Steering Group report published

The meeting report of the 5th session of the OBIS Steering Group is online. 44 decisions and recommendations were adopted including the election of a new co-chair: Mr Sky Bristol (USGS/OBIS-USA), who will support co-chair Prof Eduardo Klein (USB-Venezuela/Caribbean OBIS).

November 30, 2016 - OBISsteering group community

Extracting and Enriching OBIS Data with R

Programmatic access to biodiversity data is revolutionising large-scale, reproducible biodiversity research. In this series of tutorials we show how OBIS data can be accessed programmatically from within the Open Source statistical computing environment R. This exposes OBIS data to the full range of manipulations, visualisations, and statistical analyses provided by R. It also makes it possible to link and enrich OBIS data, combining it with other environmental, geographic, and biological data sets to better understand the distribution and dynamics of marine biodiversity.

November 22, 2016 - Tom Webbdata access R data products

Visualisation of biodiversity richness, gaps and completeness

Proposed new OBIS visualisation of marine species richness, gaps and completeness. Using Belgium as a test case.

November 17, 2016 - Tom Webbbiodiversity data products

Deep-sea biodiversity - a known unknown?

Our deep-sea might be richer in species that we think based on geographic ranges and species discovery trends

November 16, 2016 - Nick Higgsdeep sea biodiversity

Occupancy Modelling in Marine Data - An example use case with OBIS

This post is a proof-of-concept on the application of occupancy modelling to extract robust temporal trends for tracking changes in ocean biodiversity and identifying potentially at risk species, exploiting the largely underused temporal dimension in unstructured OBIS data. This could significantly expand the range of marine taxa that can be included in synthetic indices of the state of marine biodiversity.

November 15, 2016 - Alun Jonesdata products modelling

The revival of the deep sea in OBIS

33 participants from 16 countries, representing 20 different deep-sea programmes and data systems attended the first International OBIS-INDEEP training workshop on 25-28 October 2016. The meeting created the momentum to build an international alliance of young scientists with a common vision to provide open access to deep-sea biodiversity data and enhance our understanding of the deep-ocean ecosystem in order to better inform ocean governance and management.

November 14, 2016 - Ward Appeltansdeep sea community

Line transects and polygons

OBIS is not only point data, it also handles line transects and polygons

November 04, 2016 - Ward Appeltansdatabase

OBIS training course in Colombia

INVEMAR (Colombia) hosted a regional OBIS training course, in Spanish - September 2016

October 17, 2016 - Ward Appeltanstraining community

OBIS training course in Colombia

INVEMAR (Colombia) hosted a regional OBIS training course, in Spanish - September 2016

October 17, 2016 - Ward Appeltanstraining community

Beta release of new OBIS website

We welcome you to explore our new website and encourage you to provide feedback during the beta release period.

June 06, 2016 - Ward Appeltanswebsite

New data loaded

On 31 May 2016 new data was loaded on the international OBIS portal, the total number of records stands now at just over 47 million, from 2089 individual data sets.

May 31, 2016 - Ward Appeltansdatabase

Streamlining and enriching the analysis of OBIS data using R

OBIS is the largest global repository of marine biodiversity data. As such, there is considerable interest among the research community in using OBIS data for large scale macroecological and biogeographic analyses. This is reflected in the number of citations of OBIS in the scientific literature.

May 25, 2016 - Tom Webb and Alun Jonesdata analysis


International OBIS-INDEEP training & workshop, 25-28 October 2016 - Belgium

May 17, 2016 - Ward AppeltansINDEEP workshop

4th OBIS Steering Group report published

The fourth session of the OBIS Steering Group took place on 10-12 February 2015 at the IOC project office for IODE in Oostende, Belgium.

July 13, 2015 - Ward Appeltansreport Steering Group

Oceans Past Initiative joins OBIS

The Oceans Past Initiative (OPI) is a global research network for marine historical research. Their goal is to enhance knowledge and understanding of how the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life in the world’s oceans has changed over the long term to better indicate future changes and possibilities, and to contribute to the sustainable use of marine systems.

July 02, 2015 - Ward Appeltanscommunity OPI

New data loaded

On 17 April January 2015 new data was loaded on the international OBIS portal, the total number of records stands now at just over 43 million, from 1,801 individual data sets.

April 17, 2015 - Ward Appeltansdatabase