About J-OBISAbout J-OBIS


Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS) is an international scientific project that provides global marine biodiversity information through the internet.
OBIS was established by the Census of Marine Life (CoML) in 2009. Currently, OBIS is operated by the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) .

Following the approval as an IODE Associate Data Unit on January 19th 2015, JAMSTECestablished the Japan Ocean Biodiversity Information System Center (J-OBIS) . J-OBIS collects biogeographical information on marine organisms produced by activities of Japanese scientific communities, and publishes the information through Biological Information System for Marine Life (BISMaL*) and OBIS.

*BISMaL is an information system that is developed and operated by JAMSTEC.

Vision and mission

Our mission is to contribute to the progress of global scale marine ecosystem studies and to the solving of social-environmental issues by means of collecting and disseminating marine biodiversity information.
To achieve the missions, J-OBIS publishes biodiversity information through the platform of OBIS and BISMaL.


To promote domestic collaboration, the J-OBIS Advisory Board advises on J-OBIS activities in Japan. The advisory board comprises experts in the area related to marine biodiversity and information technology.
J-OBIS conducts its activities in collaboration with Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department, Japan Coast Guardwhich is the Japanese national node of IODE.

J-OBIS Advisory Board


Yoshihisa Shirayama

Research Institute for Global Change (RIGC)
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Vice chair

Akira Sonoda

Senior Coordinator for J-OBIS
Global Oceanographic Data Center (GODAC)
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Takashi Kurokawa

Chart and Marine Information Division
Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department

Utsugi Jinbo

Deputy Collection Director
Center for Collections,
National Museum of Nature and Science

Kazuaki Tadokoro

Chief Scientist
Transition Zone and Coastal Area Research Group
Fisheries Resources Institute
Japan Fisheries and Education Agency

Katsuhiko Tanaka

Associate Professor
Department of Marine Biology
School of Marine Science and Technology
Tokai University

Tomoyuki Nakano

Seto Marine Biological Laboratory
Field Science Education and Research Center
Kyoto University

Hitoshi Nakamura

Biodiversity Center of Japan
Ministry of the Environment

Katsunori Fujikura

Marine Biodiversity and Environmental Assessment Research Center (BioEnv)
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Takehisa Yamakita

Marine Environmental Impact Assessment Research Group (M-EIA)
Marine Biodiversity and Environmental Assessment Research Center (BioEnv)
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)

Hiroya Yamano

Biodiversity Division / Center for Climate Change Adaptation
National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES)


  • 1997

    Initial concept of OBIS is developed by the Census of Fishes (Former Census of Marine Life: CoML)

  • 2000

    OBIS is established as a project of CoML

  • 2001

    OBIS International Committee is formed

  • 2006

    OBIS reaches 10 million marine species occurrence records

  • 2009

    JAMSTEC attends a meeting of the IODE Steering Group for OBIS (SG-OBIS) for the first time

    IOC of UNESCO adopts OBIS as a project of IODE

  • 2010

    OBIS reaches 30 million marine species occurrence records

  • 2012

    Japan Regional OBIS Node (J-RON) is launched

  • 2013

    J-RON launches a partnership with Japan Oceanographic Data Center (JODC)

  • 2014

    United Nations General Assembly mentions OBIS for the first time in their Resolution

  • 2015

    IODE adopts JAMSTEC as an Associate Data Unit (ADU); J-OBIS is launched

  • 2016

    1000 journal publications have cited OBIS

  • 2017

    The 6th session of the SG-OBIS is hosted by J-OBIS based at JAMSTEC’s Global Oceanographic Data Center (GODAC) in Nago, Okinawa, Japan; First session outside Ostend, Belgium

    OBIS reaches 50 million marine species occurrence records

  • 2020

    OBIS celebrates its 20th anniversary

    OBIS changes its name to Ocean Biodiversity Information System*), and J-OBIS changes accordingly

  • 2022

    OBIS reaches 100 million marine species occurrence records

  • *) Former name: Ocean Biogeographic Information System

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