Modelled on the template of the successful FishBase web archive about all fish species known to science, SealifeBase has started to collect, check and make available information about organisms living in and off the oceans. It provides information about non-fish vertebrates (all marine mammals, sea birds), fishes (from FishBase), crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, coelenterates, hexacorals, and marine algae (in collaboration with AlgaeBase).

Supported by the Oak Foundation, the SealifeBase has some 190 international collaborators engaged to build up the information system to the same level of reliability and coverage as FishBase. But with so many more groups and species, it's a huge task. So far, more than 110,000 species have been covered.

From the beginning, emphasis is placed on collecting local names in different languages together with the scientific names and associated information. At the moment, the system contains some 24,000 common names. Of course, many species that are not commercially used, do not have common names. It is hoped that the effort of placing a wealth of validated information about marine biodiversity into the public domain in an easy-to-use manner will help create a level-playing field for non-specialists to vital biodiversity information.

Have a look for yourself - click on the link.