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Myctobase, a circumpolar database of mesopelagic fishes for new insights into deep pelagic prey fields - data
Woods B, Trebilco R, Walters A, Hindell M, Duhamel G, Flores H, Moteki M, Pruvost P, Reiss C, Saunders R, Sutton C, Gan Y, Van de Putte A (2023). Myctobase, a circumpolar database of mesopelagic fishes for new insights into deep pelagic prey fields - data. Version 1.1. SCAR - AntOBIS. Samplingevent dataset.

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Archived data
Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The global importance of mesopelagic fish is increasingly recognised, but they remain relatively poorly studied. This is particularly true in the Southern Ocean, where mesopelagic fishes are both key predators and prey, but where the remote environment makes sampling challenging. Despite this, multiple national Antarctic research programs have undertaken regional sampling of mesopelagic fish over several decades. However, data are dispersed, and sampling methodologies often differ precluding comparisons and limiting synthetic analyses. more

We identified potential data holders by compiling a metadata catalogue of existing survey data for Southern Ocean mesopelagic fishes. Data holders contributed 17,491 occurrence and 11,190 abundance records from 4780 net hauls from 72 different research cruises. Data span across 37 years from 1991 to 2019 and include trait-based information (length, weight, maturity). The final dataset underwent quality control processes and detailed metadata was provided for each sampling event. This dataset can be accessed through the Antarctic Biodiversity Portal. Myctobase will enhance research capacity by providing the broadscale baseline data necessary for observing and modelling mesopelagic fishes. The paper which this dataset refers to is available at The original dataset as submitted for the paper is also available on Zenodo at

This dataset is published by SCAR-AntOBIS under the license CC-BY 4.0. We would appreciate it if you could follow the guidelines from the SCAR and IPY Data Policies ( when using the data. If you have any questions regarding this dataset, please do not hesitate to contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata or via Issues with dataset can be reported at This dataset is part of the Belgian contribution to the EU-Lifewatch project funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO, contract n°FR/36/AN1/AntaBIS) .

Biology > Ecology - biodiversity, Biology > Fish
Marine/Coastal, Mesopelagic zone, ISW, Indian Ocean, PSE, Heard I., PSE, Kerguelen I., PSE, Kerguelen Plateau, PSE, Macquarie I., PSW, Antarctica, Antarctic Peninsula, PSW, Lazarev Sea, PSW, Scotia Sea, PSW, South Georgia, Actinopteri, Cephalopoda

Geographical coverage
ISW, Indian Ocean [Marine Regions]
PSE, Heard I. [Marine Regions]
PSE, Kerguelen I. [Marine Regions]
PSE, Kerguelen Plateau
PSE, Macquarie I. [Marine Regions]
PSW, Antarctica, Antarctic Peninsula [Marine Regions]
PSW, Lazarev Sea
PSW, Scotia Sea [Marine Regions]
PSW, South Georgia

Temporal coverage
13 January 1991 - 18 January 2019

Taxonomic coverage
Actinopteri [WoRMS]
Cephalopoda [WoRMS]

Occurrence of biota

University of Tasmania (UTAS), moredata creator
Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), moredata creator
University of Tasmania; Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), moredata creator
National Natural History Museum Paris (MNHN), moredata creator
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar- and Marine Research (AWI), moredata creator
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Fisheries Service; Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), moredata creator
Natural Environment Research Council; British Antarctic Survey (BAS), moredata creator
Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen (IRScNB/KBIN), moredata creator

Related datasets
Published in:
AntOBIS: Antarctic Ocean Biodiversity Information System, more
(Partly) included in:
RAS: Register of Antarctic Species, more

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Data collection
Metadatarecord created: 2022-07-28
Information last updated: 2023-10-16
All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy