Global Marine Databases and Resource Centres

Directory of global marine databases and resource centres.

Advancing ecosystem-based management: a decision support toolkit for coastal managers
The aim of this toolkit is to guide managers and practitioners in the use of common tools for regional planning and to illustrate through case studies approaches to advance ecosystem-based management by jointly addressing multiple objectives in conservation, fisheries and coastal hazards.

The Aquatic Commons
The Aquatic Commons is a thematic digital repository covering the natural marine, estuarine /brackish and fresh water environments . It includes all aspects of the science, technology, management and conservation of these environments, their organisms and resources, and the economic, sociological and legal aspects.

Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA)
The overall objective of the ASFA Partnership is to disseminate information on aquatic sciences and fisheries to the world community, bearing in mind the special interests of developing countries in this field. Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) is an International Cooperative Information System which comprises an abstracting and indexing service covering the world's literature on the science, technology, management, and conservation of marine, brackish water, and freshwater resources and environments, including their socio-economic and legal aspects.

Conservation International Marine Portal
Promoting the alignment and dissemination of critical marine information to the global community with the goals of engaging and unifying international marine stakeholders though knowledge sharing and information exchange.

Census of Marine Life
The Census of Marine Life is a global network of researchers in more than 80 nations engaged in a 10-year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans. The world's first comprehensive Census of Marine Life-past, present, and future-will be released in 2010.
see also The Census of Marine Life Bibliographic Database - This web database provides a comprehensive and platform-independent literature resource of the CoML network science publications.

Center for Ocean Solutions
In addition to developing new knowledge to solve ocean challenges, COS researchers and staff will reach out to decision-makers from government, business, and the nonprofit sectors to translate the results of marine science and policy research into action.

Climate Ready Estuaries Coastal Toolkit [clearinghouse]
The Climate Ready Estuaries Coastal Toolkit provides resources for estuaries and coastal programs that are interested in learning more about climate change impacts and adaptation. The Toolkit pages provide information and links to websites, reports, and other resources

Coral reefs
This comprehensive, media-rich site features videos and podcasts, reports and forums, educational materials and more to explain and highlight the state of the world's coral reefs. Published by the World Ocean Observatory.

Environment and development in coastal regions and in small islands (CSI) - UNESCO
CSI is a global platform for environmentally sound, socially equitable, culturally respectful and economically viable development in coastal regions and small islands.

FishBase is the world's premier information system on the world's fishes, with detailed information on almost all of the known world fish species (28,000 species representing 96% of known species). Searchable by country and species.

Fisheries - Our CommonWealth
This international programme is aimed at ensuring sustainability and improving the livelihoods of coastal communities in developing countries.  Delivered by a consortium of Commonwealth organisations, it raises awareness and conducts research to help identify long-term solutions for fisheries management. This is achieved through regional case studies, study tours, ministerial statements and civil society consultations. Include Pacific research and case studies.

Fishery Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS)
The primary aim of the Fishery Resources Monitoring System (FIRMS) is to provide access to a wide range of high quality information on the global monitoring and management of fishery marine resources.

FAO Species Identification and Data Programme (SIDP)
Includes various publications available online and CD-ROMs concerning the Pacific area.

GEF Lessons Learned : Knowledgebase for Lessons Learned and Best Practices in the Management of Coral Reefs
"GEF Lessons Learned, this project seeks to formalize the experiences, lessons learned from previous GEF projects, as well as major non-GEF initiatives, involving coral reefs and associated ecosystems. One of the aims of the project is that the products are implemented in future coral reef management projects. We therefore hope to develop a network of coral reef managers and researchers who can share their experiences and add to the knowledgebase."

Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands
This website provides information on global developments related to oceans, coasts, and SIDS, particularly activities aimed at achieving oceans-related targets from the World Summit on Sustainable Development and from the Millennium Development Goals through policy analyses, multi-stakeholder dialogues, working groups, roundtables, and other approaches.

Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA)
The aim of GIWA is to produce a comprehensive and integrated global assessment of international waters, the ecological status of and the causes of environmental problems in 66 water areas in the world, and focus on the key issues and problems facing the aquatic environment in transboundary waters.

Global mangrove database and information system [GLOMIS]
Major objectives of GLOMIS are:
(1)To construct a database with the characteristics of single mangrove species and of mangrove ecosystems;
(2)To disseminate worldwide the information stored in the Database;
(3)To focus on the functioning, management and rational uses of single species of mangroves and of entire mangrove ecosystems, including local environmental and socio-economic inplications for coastal communities;
(4)Organize, maintain and up-date at regular intervals the information system which is meant for the use of forestry, ficheries, law-makers and administrators, decision makers and users at large.

Global Map of Human Impacts on Marine Ecosystems
The goal of the research presented here is to estimate and visualize, for the first time, the global impact humans are having on the ocean's ecosystems. The data summarized in the map provides critical information for evaluating where certain activities can continue with little effect on the oceans, where other activities might need to be stopped or moved to less sensitive areas, and where to focus efforts on protecting the last pristine areas.

Global Observings Systems Information Center [GOSIC]
GOSIC provides access to data, metadata and information, and overviews of the structure and programs for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), and the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS).

IFLPP Research Centre
A series of interactive research tools aimed at developing international and comparative fisheries and marine living resource research and knowledge exchange. It includes a book review database; a journal abstracts database; a research / discussion forum; and the IFLPP Knowledge Directory - an open-access, interactive directory of materials, documents, websites and other research. This section also provides access to archived research tools from earlier versions of the Internet Guide to International Fisheries Law.

Indian Ocean - South-East Asian Marine Turtle Memorandum of Understanding
The IOSEA Marine Turtle MoU is an intergovernmental agreement that aims to protect, conserve, replenish and recover marine turtles and their habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asian region, working in partnership with other relevant actors and organisations.

International Legal Instruments Relevant to Fisheries and Fishing Communities
'International Legal Instruments Relevant to Fisheries and Fishing Communities' - website provides detailed information for a wide range of instruments relevant to fisheries and fishworkers. It covers 124 legal instruments, categorized into following seven themes: Human Rights, Food Security, Women and Development, Environment and Sustainable Development, Oceans and Fisheries Management, Environmental Pollution, Fishing Vessels and Safety at Sea, Labour and Trade. Excellent resouce site with very useful summaries of the major environment regimes.

IUCN [World Conservation Union] Library and Resources
MPA Global: a database of the world's Marine Protected Areas

This website publishes the world's first explicitly marine-focused database of the world's protected areas that have some intertidal and/or subtidal component. It is currently based largely on information in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) Version 6.1. The aims of this database are to: provide information that has not, to date, been readily available;
attract feedback to further improve the quality and breadth of information available.
IUCN's Species Survival Commission Species Information Service (SIS)
Through its volunteer membership of 7,000 species conservation experts, IUCN's Species Survival Commission (SSC) holds what is probably the world's most complete body of information on the status and distribution of species threatened with extinction. Although abundant, the data and information contained within the SSC network is widely dispersed and sometimes difficult to access. The Species Information Service is being developed as SSC's data management initiative to address this problem.

Mangrove Restoration website
Our goal is to ensure the survival of the worlds various mangrove species through preservation and conservation.

Marine Bio
Marine Bio is a non profit organisation whose goal is to call attention to marine conservation issues and the many efforts underway to address them, provide the information necessary to inspire action, and support, in as many ways as possible, the solutions needed to restore and protect the ocean for marine life. Includes a range of excellent resources including a detailed website relating to marine life cycles.

Marine Biodiversity Portal
Access point for information, resources and news relating to marine biodiversity. A Marine Biodiversity Wiki has been launched under the banner of MarBEF (Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning) The Marine Biodiversity Wiki links in depth with the Coastal Wiki (developed by ENCORA, to avoid duplication of material and while also solely concentrating on providing information on marine biodiversity.

Marine Debris Program
Developed by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) in the USA, the site is designed to help identify, reduce, and prevent debris in the marine environment. The section on resources addresses four key target groups (beachgoers, fishers, boat/marina owners, and students/educators) and provides good information on what to do and what not to do. The resources section in Marine Debris 101 is particulalry useful i includes factsheets, posters and guidebooks.

Marine Protected Areas: online resouce centre
The website on MPAs ( provides local and traditional fishing-community perspectives on how MPAs can fit into a broader fisheries and coastal management framework.The online resource centre is a Collection of databases, publications, and links to resources relating to marine protected areas. Maintained by the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers

MPA Global
A database of the world's marine protected areas

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] Library
Includes access to a range of databases and virtual libraries.

National Oceanographic Data Center
The National Oceanographic Data Center is a national repository and dissemination facility for global oceanographic data which acquires and preserves a historical record of the Earth's changing environment to be used for operational applications and ocean climate research.
see also Pacific Region Ocean Data & Information Portal

Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific
Contains information about aquaculture activities in Asia-Pacific.

NOAA's Coral Reef Information System (CORIS)
NOAA's Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS) is designed to be a single point of access to NOAA coral reef information and data products, especially those derived from NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. see NOAA's Pacific portal .

Ocean Biogeographic Information System
Explore data on locations of marine animals and plants. 13.1 million records of 79000 species from 206 databases.

OceanPortal is a high-level directory of Ocean Data and Information related web sites.

Oceans, Seas and Coasts [Intute]
Websites and online resources identified and recommended by Intute. The Intute Environment Gateway provides free access to high quality resources on the Internet. Each resource has been evaluated and categorised by subject specialists based at UK universities. Our target audience is students, staff and researchers in higher and further education.

A fishery projects portal and participatory resource gateway for the fisheries and aquatic research and development sector.

Protect Planet Ocean
The website represents a collaboration between WCPA - Marine and several public and private institutions. It aims to bring "the best information on marine protected areas to a global audience," including: - Basic facts on each of nearly 5000 MPAs worldwide, and the ability for practitioners and the public to upload more information, photos, videos, and other content for each MPA . Includes resources for the North and South Pacific.

The Ramsar Library
The Ramsar Library is a Web collection of reprints of the physical publications of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Includes Technical Reports, toolkits and manuals, and official RAMSAR publications.

ReefBase is the central database of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, and is developed and maintained by The WorldFish Center. ReefBase provides data and information on the location, status, threats, and management of coral reefs in over 100 countries and territories.

Reef Resilience
" the place to find information about building resilience into your coral reef management strategies. "

see also Reef Resilience Toolkit
The Toolkit provides coral reef managers with guidance on building resilience to climate change into the design of MPAs and daily management activities. Check it out for updated recommendations based on new science and lessons learned direct from coral reef managers.

ScienceToAction: Turning marine science into policy
"We work with managers, policy decision makers, and other stakeholders to identify the most critical information to improve management and the best ways to provide the information for maximum impact. The scientific findings are shared informally through continuing communication, as well as through one-on-one discussions with key decision makers; meetings of stakeholders such as fishermen's cooperatives and community workshops; and more public forums such as radio broadcasts. To facilitate these discussions, we produce S2A tools and publications such as white papers, synthesis booklets, interactive tools, posters, videos and guidebooks."

Seagrass Restoration website
Experts in Seagrass Meadow Ecology, Management and Restoration Worldwide . Whether it is a question about the ecology, management or restoration of seagrass meadows, we can help.


This project has created a FishBase-like information system for all aquatic living organisms (marine and freshwater), ca. 300,000 spp. Of these, marine organism (about 200,000 spp) are the target of the current project phase. It will not provide yet another authority list of species, but rather provide, for each species included, the biological information necessary to conduct biodiversity and ecosystem studies, taking advantage of lists of species already available on paper and electronically, and using the scientific names they provide as 'hook' to organize biodiversity information. Currently the database contains 81900 Species, 24000 Common names, 2300 Pictures, 12000 References and is supported by 100 collaborators.

The Global Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative for Coastal Management (SocMon) works through regional and local partners to facilitate community-based socioeconomic monitoring. Household and community level data are collected to inform dependence on coral reef resources, perceptions of resource conditions, threats to marine and coastal resources, and support for marine management strategies such as marine protected areas. To date, over 60 assessments have been completed in 30 countries. -see Pacific islands on SocMon

UNEP Regional Seas
The Regional Seas Programme, launched in 1974 in the wake of the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, is one of UNEP's most significant achievements in the past 30 years. The Regional Seas Programme aims to address the accelerating degradation of the world's oceans and coastal areas through the sustainable management and use of the marine and coastal environment, by engaging neighbouring countries in comprehensive and specific actions to protect their shared marineenvironment. It has accomplished this by stimulating the creation of Regional Seas programmes prescriptions for sound environmental management to be coordinated and implemented by countries sharing a common body of water. Today, more than 140 countries participate in 13 Regional Seas programmes established under the auspices of UNEP: the Black Sea, Wider Caribbean, East Africa, south East Asia, ROPME Sea Area, Mediterranean, North-East Pacific, North-West Pacific, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, South Asia, South-East Pacific, Pacific, and West and Central Africa. Six of these programmes, are directly administered by UNEP.

World Database on Marine Protected Areas
The WDPA-Marine is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive set of marine protected areas (MPAs) data available. With less than one percent of the oceans under legal protection, it is essential to maintain a dataset that focuses on MPAs and representation of the diverse species and habitats found in the marine environment.

World Ocean Observatory
A place of exchange for ocean information, education and public discourse about the future of the ocean and its implication for human survival. Incorporating THE CULTURAL OCEAN, a survey of maritime arts, cultural manifestations and research tools; THE PHYSICAL OCEAN, the UN Atlas of the Oceans, UNESCO Ocean Portal, NOAA, NASA, Census of Marine Life, climate, and other useful sites; THE WORLD OCEAN DIRECTORY, an indexed network of more than 18,500 organizations worldwide with ocean interests; THE WORLD OCEAN FORUM, a digest of breaking news, monthly letter, publications, exhibits, and media; and THE WORLD OCEAN CLASSROOM, an inventory of curricula, portraits of ocean exemplars and schools, and listings of on-line educational resources for global distribution.