SeaLifeBase is a global online database of information about marine life. It aims to provide key information on the taxonomy, distribution and ecology of all marine species in the world apart from finfish.[1] SeaLifeBase is in partnership with the WorldFish Center in Malaysia and the UBC Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia.[1] Daniel Pauly is the principal investigator and it is coordinated by Maria Lourdes D. Palomares. As of October 2016, it included descriptions of 74,000 species, 47,700 common names, 12,400 pictures, and references to 31,700 works in the scientific literature.[2] SeaLifeBase complements FishBase, which provides parallel information for finfish.

DescriptionA global online database of information about aquatic species
Data types
Scientific and common names, distribution and ecology
OrganismsAll aquatic species, except finfish
Research centerSea Around Us Project
AuthorsDaniel Pauly
Maria Lourdes D. Palomares
Data release
Continuously updated


The origins of SeaLifeBase go back to the 1970s, when the fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly found himself struggling to test a hypothesis on how the growing ability of fish was affected by the size of their gills.[3] Hypotheses, such as this one, could be tested only if large amounts of empirical data were available.[4] At the time, fisheries management used analytical models which required estimates for fish growth and mortality.[5] Pauly believed that the only practical way fisheries managers could access the volume of data they needed was to assemble all the data available in the published literature into some central repository.[4] This would mean that when a new hypothesis needs to be tested, the available data will already be there in a validated and accessible form, and there will be no need create a new dataset and then have to validate it.[6] Pauly recruited Rainer Froese, and the beginnings of a software database along these lines was encoded in 1988. This database, initially confined to tropical fish, became the prototype for FishBase. FishBase was extended to cover all finfish, and is now the largest online database for fish in the world.[4]

Given FishBase's success, there was naturally a demand for a database covering forms of aquatic life other than finfish. This resulted, in 2006, in the birth of SeaLifeBase.[4] The long-term goal of the project is develop an information system modelled on FishBase, but including all forms of aquatic life, both marine and freshwater, apart from the finfish which FishBase specialises in. Altogether, there are about are 300,000 known species in this category[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b SeaLifeBase (SLB FishBase Information and Research Group (FIN). Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  2. ^ According to the SeaLifeBase web page, accessed 29 December 2016.
  3. ^ Bakun A (2011) "The oxygen constraint" Pages 11–23. In: Villy Christensen and Jay Maclean (Eds.) Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries: A Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-13022-6.
  4. ^ a b c d Palomares MLD and Bailly N (2011) "Organizing and disseminating marine biodiversity information: the Fishbase and SeaLifeBase story" Pages 24–46. In: Villy Christensen and Jay Maclean (Eds.) Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries: A Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-13022-6.
  5. ^ Monro JL (2011) "Assessment of exploited stock of tropical fishes: an overview" Pages 171–188. In: Villy Christensen and Jay Maclean (Eds.) Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries: A Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-13022-6.
  6. ^ Froese R (2011) "The science in FishBase" Pages 47–54. In: Villy Christensen and Jay Maclean (Eds.) Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries: A Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-13022-6.
  7. ^ SeaLifeBase - home page Accessed 23 January 2017.


  • Christensen V, CJ Walters, R Ahrens, J Alder, J Buszowski, LB Christensen, WWL Cheung, J Dunne, R Froese, V Karpouzi, K Kaschner, K Kearney, S Lai, V Lam, MLD Palomares, A Peters-Mason, C Piroddia, JL Sarmiento, J Steenbeek, R Sumaila, R Watson, D Zeller and D Pauly (2009) Database-driven models of the world's Large Marine Ecosystems Ecological Modelling, 220(17): 1984–1996.
  • Palomares, M.L.D., N. Bailly and D. Pauly (2009) FishBase, SeaLifeBase and database-driven ecosystem modeling p. 156-158. In: M.L.D. Palomares, L. Morissette, A. Cisnero-Montemayor, D. Varkey, M. Coll and C. Piroddi (eds.) Ecopath 25 Years Conference Proceedings: Extended Abstracts. UBC Fisheries Centre Research Reports 17(3).

External links

Acanthopleura granulata

Acanthopleura granulata, common name the West Indian fuzzy chiton, is a medium-sized tropical species of chiton.

This species is common within its range in the tropical Western Atlantic, but it is often not noticed, because its color and texture are similar to the rocks on which it lives.

In countries that used to be part of the British West Indies, these and other common intertidal chitons are known as "curb"; the foot of the animal is eaten by people and is also used as bait for fishing.

Argopecten purpuratus

Argopecten purpuratus, common names the "Peruvian scallop", is an edible species of saltwater clam, a scallop, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Pectinidae, the scallops.

Carpilius corallinus

Carpilius corallinus or Batwing Coral Crab is a species of crab.

The Batwing Coral Crab is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from the coast of Florida until Brazil including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

It is the largest crab of this geographic area, and is edible.

Caymanabyssia spina

Caymanabyssia spina is a species of small sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Caymanabyssiidae, the false limpets.

Chiton magnificus

Chiton magnificus, the liquorice sea cradle, is a Southeast Pacific species of edible chiton, a marine polyplacophoran mollusk in the family Chitonidae, the typical chitons.

Corallimorphus profundus

Corallimorphus profundus is a species of corals in the genus Corallimorphus. It lives in marine habitats. This species can be found in the Southern Ocean and in New Zealand.


FishBase is a global species database of fish species (specifically finfish). It is the largest and most extensively accessed online database on adult finfish on the web. Over time it has "evolved into a dynamic and versatile ecological tool" that is widely cited in scholarly publications.FishBase provides comprehensive species data, including information on taxonomy, geographical distribution, biometrics and morphology, behaviour and habitats, ecology and population dynamics as well as reproductive, metabolic and genetic data. There is access to tools such as trophic pyramids, identification keys, biogeographical modelling and fishery statistics and there are direct species level links to information in other databases such as LarvalBase, GenBank, the IUCN Red List and the Catalog of Fishes.As of November 2018, FishBase included descriptions of 34,000 species and subspecies, 323,200 common names in almost 300 languages, 58,900 pictures, and references to 55,300 works in the scientific literature. The site has about 700,000 unique visitors per month.

Mactra stultorum

Mactra stultorum, previously sometimes known as Mactra corallina, is a species of edible saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Mactridae, the trough shells.

Malaysian giant turtle

The Bornean giant turtle (Orlitia borneensis) is a species of turtles in the family Bataguridae. It is monotypic within the genus Orlitia. It is found in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Octopus cyanea

Octopus cyanea, also known as the big blue octopus or day octopus, is an octopus in the family Octopodidae. It occurs in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans, from Hawaii to the eastern coast of Africa. O. cyanea grows to 16 cm in mantle length with arms to at least 80 cm. This octopus was described initially by the British zoologist John Edward Gray in 1849; the type specimen was collected off Australia and is at the Natural History Museum in London.

Oratosquilla oratoria

Oratosquilla oratoria is a species of mantis shrimp found in the Western Pacific. It is widely harvested in Japan where it is known as shako (シャコ, 蝦蛄) and eaten as sushi. Like other members of its order it has a powerful spear, which it uses to hunt invertebrates and small fish. It grows to a length of 185 millimetres (7.3 in), and lives at depths of 10–100 metres (33–328 ft).

Palinurus elephas

Palinurus elephas is a spiny lobster, which is commonly caught in the Mediterranean Sea. Its common names include European spiny lobster, crayfish or cray (in Ireland), common spiny lobster, Mediterranean lobster and red lobster.


Petricola is a genus of saltwater clams, marine bivalve mollusks in the family Petricolidae, which is related to the large family Veneridae, the Venus clams.

Pyropelta yamato

Pyropelta yamato is a species of small sea snail, a deep-water limpet, a marine gastropod mollusks in the family Pyropeltidae.

Sea cucumber as food

Sea cucumbers are marine animals of the class Holothuroidea. They are used in fresh or dried form in various cuisines. In some cultural contexts the sea cucumber is thought to have medicinal value.

The creature and the food product are commonly known as bêche-de-mer in French, from Portuguese "bicho do mar" (literally "sea worm"), trepang (or trīpang) in Indonesian, namako in Japanese, balatan in Tagalog and loli in Hawaiian. In Malay, it is known as the gamat.Most cultures in East and Southeast Asia regard sea cucumbers as a delicacy. A number of dishes are made with sea cucumber, and in most dishes it has a slippery texture. Common ingredients that go with sea cucumber dishes include winter melon, conpoy, kai-lan, shiitake mushroom, and Chinese cabbage.

Senilia senilis

Senilia senilis is a species of edible saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusk in the family Arcidae, the ark shells.

Sepiadarium kochi

Sepiadarium kochi, common name tropical bottletail squid or Koch's bottletail squid, is an edible species of cuttlefish.

Tasmanian giant crab

The Tasmanian giant crab, Pseudocarcinus gigas (sometimes known as the giant deepwater crab, giant southern crab or queen crab) is a very large species of crab that resides on rocky and muddy bottoms in the oceans off Southern Australia. It is the only species in the genus Pseudocarcinus.

Teredo navalis

Teredo navalis, the naval shipworm, is a species of saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Teredinidae, the shipworms. This species is the type species of the genus Teredo. Like other species in this family, this bivalve is called a shipworm, because it resembles a worm in general appearance, while at the anterior end it has a small shell with two valves which are specialised at boring through wood.

This species may have originated in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, but has spread around the world. It tunnels into underwater piers and pilings and is a major cause of damage and destruction to submarine timber structures and the hulls of wooden boats.

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