August has come to a close with OBIS completing yet another substantial data load. OBIS-USA, OBIS SEAMAP, EurOBIS, SCAR-MarBIN and OBIS Canada have collectively contributed 3 updates and 51 new datasets for a grand total of 443000 new records.
ICES through EurOBIS has contributed an immense fish predator/prey database that extends across 11 countries and provides valuable insights into the diet of eight vital North Sea predator species. They have also shared numerous black sea data repositories detailing the species composition, biomass, and abundance of zooplankton and phytoplankton in the northern Black Sea.
OBIS Canada has provided a snow crab research trawl dataset from the Gulf of St Lawrence and a large database containing the entirety of the Eastern Arctic Investigations pioneered by the Fisheries Research Board of Canada. Accrued from 1947-1959, these data contain the results of an extensive effort in the eastern Canadian arctic using various sampling strategies. The study applies gill-netting, long-lining, seine fishing, and dredging to inventory a diverse array of planktonic and nektonic species.
Thanks to OBIS SEAMAP, OBIS has been able to add a wealth of marine mammal and reptile data with this load. Notable datasets include the United Kingdom National Whale Stranding Database, a NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center dataset providing tracking information on loggerhead sea turtle populations in U.S. waters, and a dataset from the University of California Santa Cruz detailing the distribution and migratory patterns of pacific Elephant Seals.
SCAR-MarBIN has supplied two new datasets consisting of occurrence records for the phylum Cnidaria and the order Octopoda in the Great Southern Ocean.
NOAA’s Biogeography Branch has provided updates to 3 Caribbean datasets gathered from missions earlier this year and late 2010. These data document reef fish distribution and abundance and were collected via belt transects from St Croix, St John, and Puerto Rico.
With the assistance of its valued partners, the OBIS database has now reached 31.8 million records, 994 datasets and 140,000 species. Details of the new and refreshed data are listed here