Oak Foundation (2006-2010)
Oak Philanthrophy Limited
89-91, rue de Lyon
1203 Geneva, Switzerland
T: +41(22)318 8640; F: +41(22)318 8641

Willow Grove Educational Foundation
14727 Via Azul
92127 San Diego, CA (USA)

Canada Foundation for Innovation
230 Queen Street, Suite 450
K1P 5E4 Ottawa
Ontario, Canada
T: +1(613) 947-6496; F: +1(613) 943-0923

The Oak Foundation, together with Willow Grove Foundation and Canada Foundation for Innovation, through the collaboration of Fisheries Centre (FC), University of British Columbia, WorldFish Center and FishBase Information and Research Group, Inc. (FIN), funded the creation of the SeaLifeBase project, its subsequent operations, and its Sea Life Abundance sub-project, respectively. These grants enabled SeaLifeBase to provide more than 82,000 valid scientific names, 18,700 common names for more than 11,700 species, geographic distribution for more than 17,500 species, ecological information for more than 20,600 species and other biological information for more than 8,000 species by the end of 2007.

Global Greengrants Fund (2011 - present)
2840 Wilderness Place, Suite A
Boulder,CO 80301, USA
T: +1(303)939 9866; F: +1(303)939 9867

Global Greengrants Fund, through the Marisla Foundation has supported SeaLifeBase since 2011. Now on its 4 th year, the activities conducted under this grant has succeeded in providing biological and ecological information for the marine biodiversity of 4 island ecosystems gearing towards the coverage of the 66 large marine ecosystems of the world.


ASEAN Center for Biodiversity

3F ERDB Bldg., Forestry Campus
College, Laguna 4031,Philippines
T: +6349 536-2865

The Pew Charitable Trusts
Global Ocean Legacy of the Pew Environment Group
Philadelphia office
One Commerce Square
2005 Market Street, Suite 2800
19103-7077 Philadelphia, PA (USA)    
T: +1( 215) 575-9050
Washington, D.C. office
901 E Street NW
20004-2008 Washington, DC (USA)

T: +1( 202) 552-2000

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Direction de la Diffusion, de la Communication,

de l’Accueil et des Partenariats (DICAP)
57 rue Cuvier - CP 27, Service Mécénat
75005 Paris

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
505 5th Avenue South, Suite 900
Seattle, WA98104


Southeast Asia

A SeaLifeBase mini-project funded by the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) in 2010 endeavoured to improve the coverage of marine biodiversity, particularly of invertebrates of Southeast Asia. Data on nomenclature, geography, biology and ecology of the species in this region were made available online through SeaLifeBase and also in ACB’s information sharing service. The first of a 2-part report included accounts of national and regional biodiversity, life history analysis of select species and an example of biodiversity and tourism and management interplay. (Full text)

French Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Territories (Southern Oceans)

In 2011, an effort to improve the coverage of marine biodiversity for the islands of Kermadec (Full text) , Crozet and Terre Adélie, was done in parallel with and in support of the fisheries reconstruction work of the Sea Around Us. It covered biological and ecological data from FishBase for fishes and SeaLifeBase for other marine vertebrates and invertebrates. Exhausting more than 360 references for the 3 main islands of the Southern Oceans, SeaLifeBase and FishBase were able to provide information for 1,609 species from Kerguelen, 360 species from Crozet Island and 766 species from Terre Adelie.


With support from the Global Oceans Legacy Project of the Pew Environment Group, in 2011, Sea Around Us worked to provide estimated catches for the Pitcairn Islands from 1950 – 2009. Estimates were for both subsistence (non-commercial) and artisanal (commercial) catches. The marine biodiversity of this island with biological and ecological data were provided by FishBase for fishes and SeaLifeBase for other marine vertebrates and invertebrates.

Palomares, M.L.D., Chaitanya, D., Harper, S., Zeller, D., Pauly, D. (eds.), The marine biodiversity and fisheries catches of the Pitcairn Islands, p.10-22. A report prepared for the Global Ocean Legacy project of the Pew Environment Group. The Sea Around Us, Fisheries Centre, UBC, Vancouver, Canada. (Full text)


There is a large body of published material available on the marine biodiversity of Belize, including well over 1,000 scientific papers and other documents available online, notably through the Biodiversity and Environment Data System of Belize (BERDS). A large fraction of these publications were based on work done by the Smithsonian Institution in Belize, especially in Carrie Bow Cay. In 2011, with the support of the Oak Foundation through Oceana, we reviewed the nature of these documents, which were used to enhance the contents of FishBase and SeaLifeBase on fish and other metazoans, respectively. Jointly, these databases allowed for a near complete inventory of the marine biodiversity of Belize.

Palomares, M.L.D., Pauly, D., (2011) Documenting the marine biodiversity of Belize in FishBase and SeaLifeBase. In: Palomares, M.L.D., Pauly, D. (eds.), Too Precious to Drill: the Marine Biodiversity of Belize, pp. 78-106. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 19(6). Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia [ISSN 1198-6727] (Full text)


In 2011-2012, the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (MNHN) through P. Pruvost contracted FIN through SeaLifeBase to work on the marine biodiversity of Kerguelen Island, gathering biological and ecological data from FishBase for fishes and SeaLifeBase for other marine vertebrates and invertebrates. We exhausted 242 references to provide data for 1,609 species in the Kerguelen Island, 102 references for 360 species in Crozet Island, and 22 references for 766 species in Terre Adelie.

Palomares, M.L.D., and D. Pauly (2011) A brief history of fishing in the Kerguelen Islands, France. pp. 15-20. In: Harper, S. and Zeller, D. (eds.) Fisheries catch reconstructions: Islands, Part II. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 19(4). Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia [ISSN1198-6727]. (Full text)

Kermadec Island

In 2012, the Sea Around Us, was commissioned to reconstruct the fisheries of the Kermadec Islands’ EEZ. The Kermadec Island group (New Zealand), a marine park since the 1930s, is one of the few bodies of water in the world which has so far escaped extensive exploitation due to its remoteness and inhospitable conditions. These conditions, however, have also made the Kermadec Islands difficult to study. The over 200 scientific documents (1881-2012) treated in this exercise resulted in a species list which contains 193 bony fishes, 24 sharks, at least 46 tetrapods (whales, dolphins, sea turtles and sea birds), and at least 916 invertebrates and 44 macrophytes. SeaLifeBase, together with FishBase, provided a preliminary list of marine species and the bibliography used to assign them to the Kermadec Islands.

Palomares, M.L.D., Harper, S., Zeller, D., and D. Pauly (2012) The marine biodiversity and fisheries catches of the Kermadec Island Group. A report prepared for the Global Ocean Legacy project of the Pew Environment Group by the Sea Around Us, 51p.(Full text)

Northwestern Indian Ocean

This activity ran from September 2013 to August 2014 and covered the large marine ecosystems of the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Albeit preliminary, the resulting faunal lists can be used by country experts as baselines to correct and eventually complete and/or improve. This work was done in parallel with and in support of the fisheries reconstruction work of the Sea Around Us, similar to those that were done, e.g., for the Pitcairn Islands or for Belize. We focused on assembling species lists and biological data for marine species for the countries surrounding these large marine ecosystems, i.e., India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, and Somalia. FishBase now has more than 3,000 fish species assigned to this region, while SeaLifeBase has almost 200 non-fish marine vertebrates and more than 2,500 marine invertebrates, and 100 marine plants.

Easter Island

In 2014, an attempt to document the marine biodiversity of Easter Island, was done, and with emphasis on endemic species. Information was obtained from 196 references for fishes and 91 references for marine vertebrates and invertebrates. The number of species occurring in the Easter Island now listed in FishBase and SeaLifeBase is 67% more than those estimated in Boyko (2003).

Palomares, M.L.D., Bato, E., Espedido, J.C., Urruquia, L.P., Parducho, V., Saniano, M.P., Yap, P.M.S., Sampang, A., Bailly, N. (2014) Easter Island (Rapa Nui) marine biodiversity in FishBase and SeaLifeBase. (manuscript)

Salish Sea

In mid-2014, we reviewed the biodiversity of the Salish Sea and its regional components, the Puget Sound and the Georgia Strait. Over 238 fish species were documented for the Salish Sea (152 for Puget Sound, 193 for the Georgia Strait) in FishBase, and over 1,600 species of non-fish vertebrates and invertebrates in SeaLifeBase, from a body of over 1,800 published references. Through this documentation effort, we can now say that overall, the Salish Sea is as biodiverse as can be expected of a temperate ecosystem of its size, i.e., 18,000 square km.

Baltic Sea and North Sea

This work was done in 2014 as part of the Oekofischman project. FishBase and SeaLifeBase provided species lists with data on taxonomic classification, common name, length, weight, status, habitat and food/diet information. The goal was to complete information for non-fish species, excluding birds and macrophytes, and complete qualitative data, e.g., detritus feeders, herbivorous, carnivorous, omnivorous, for mammals, birds and invertebrates which will be used for a trophic ecology modelling. Focus on data collection was given to completing the marine biodiversity in the German North Sea and the whole of the Baltic Sea. SeaLifeBase lists 3,050 non-fish species (982 species in Germany) occurring in North Sea, using 128 references, and 1,408 non-fish species occurring in the Baltic Sea.

French Polynesia
From mid -2014 to early 2015, the species diversity of five archipelagos (Marquesas, Tuamotu, Society, Gambier and Austral Islands) was investigated by establishing some preliminary trends in the archipelago’s marine biodiversity (expressed as a map of habitat preferences) using ecological data from FishBase and SeaLifeBase. An analysis of the time series trends in habitat preferences of commercially exploited species using catch data from the Sea Around Us database was also done with special attention given to pelagic species. Data from more than 1,600 references for fishes and almost 1,100 references for marine vertebrates and invertebrates were used to gather distribution, biological and ecological data. Habitat preference indices were estimated for 78 pelagic species.

Palau – New Caledonia

This is ongoing work that will investigate the marine biodiversity of these Pacific Islands for completion by June 2015.