Ocean Biogeographic Information System OBIS


an evolving strategic alliance of people and organizations sharing a vision to make marine biogeographic data, from all over the world, freely available over the World Wide Web. OBIS is tailored towards global awareness of our oceans and global contribution to knowledge about our oceans. Thus, it is extremely important that OBIS maintains its status as an ‘open-access’ database. OBIS plans to make all tools on the website available for everyone to use: the database exclusively uses open source software, so all of the programming code is available to the public.


Open accessibility creates a database which…

  • allows nations to meet their obligations to the Convention on Biodiversity to report on the biodiversity in their exclusive economic zones.
  • offers researchers and surveyors and other collectors of data the convenience of a permanent repository for spatially referenced data on all forms of marine life.
  • offers seekers of data about marine biodiversity a site where they can find information about species from A to Z for all parts of the world oceans.

OBIS is not a project or program, and is not limited to data from Census of Marine Life-related projects. Any organization, consortium, project or individual may contribute to OBIS. And any person who visits the OBIS site can expect access to:

  • taxonomically and geographically resolved data on marine life and the ocean environment;
  • interoperability with similar databases;
  • software tools for data exploration and analysis.


UNESCO-IOC Project Office for IODE

Wandelaarkaai 7/61

8400 Oostende



Phone: +32 59 34 01 76
e-mail: w.appeltans@unesco.org


Wandelaarkaai 7/61, 8400 Oostende, Belgium


Leave a Reply

Close Menu