|Description||A global online database of information about aquatic species|
|Data types captured||Scientific and common names, distribution and ecology|
|Organisms||All aquatic species, except finfish|
|Research center||Sea Around Us Project|
Maria Lourdes D. Palomares
|Data release frequency||Continuously updated|
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. SeaLifeBase is in partnership with the WorldFish Center in Malaysia and the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia. Daniel Pauly is the principal investigator and it is coordinated by Maria Lourdes D. Palomares. As of July 2011[update], it included descriptions of 118,000 species and subspecies, 25,500 common names, 9,700 pictures, and references to 15,400 works in the scientific literature. SeaLifeBase complements FishBase, which provides parallel information for finfish.
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. Hypotheses, such as this one, could be tested only if large amounts of empirical data were available. At the time, fisheries management used analytical models which required estimates for fish growth and mortality. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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
- SeaLifeBase (SLB FishBase Information and Research Group (FIN). Retrieved 22 July 2011.
- According to the SeaLifeBase web page, accessed 21 July 2011
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- SeaLifeBase - home page Accessed 21 July 2011.
- 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. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 17(3).