Myctobase, a circumpolar database of mesopelagic fishes for new insights into deep pelagic prey fields - data

Sampling event
Version 1.0 published by SCAR - AntOBIS on Jul 19, 2022 SCAR - AntOBIS
Publication date:
19 July 2022
Published by:
CC-BY 4.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 4,652 records in English (2 MB)  - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (18 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (15 KB)


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. 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) .

Data Records

The data in this sampling event resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 4,652 records.

2 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Event (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Please be aware, this is an old version of the dataset.  Researchers should cite this work as follows:

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 (2022): Myctobase, a circumpolar database of mesopelagic fishes for new insights into deep pelagic prey fields - data. v1.0. SCAR - AntOBIS. Dataset/Samplingevent.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is SCAR - AntOBIS. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 2ecef267-0e17-4f3f-adf9-20b036e6167a.  SCAR - AntOBIS publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Ocean Biodiversity Information System.




Briannyn Woods
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
University of Tasmania
Andrea Walters
  • Originator
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Mark Hindell
  • Originator
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
Guy Duhamel
  • Originator
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
Hauke Flores
  • Originator
Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar und Meeresforschung (AWI)
Masato Moteki
  • Originator
Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, National Institute of Polar Science
Patrice Pruvost
  • Originator
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle
Christian Reiss
  • Originator
Southwest Fisheries Science Center
Ryan Saunders
  • Originator
British Antarctic Survey
Caroline Sutton
  • Originator
Yi-Ming Gan
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Anton Van de Putte
  • Originator
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Geographic Coverage

Scotia Sea, South Georgia and Shag Rocks, Antarctic Peninsula, Lazarev Sea, Kerguelen Plateau, Kerguelen Islands, Heard Island, East Antarctica, Macquarie Island, Indian Ocean

Bounding Coordinates South West [-70.335, 0], North East [-40.002, 96.15]

Taxonomic Coverage

No Description available

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata, Ctenophora
Class Actinopteri, Cephalopoda

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1991-01-13 / 2019-01-18

Project Data

The long-term aims of Myctobase are 1) to provide a single findable, standardised, and citable resource for multiple combined datasets; 2) to provide the baseline data upon which to measure the status and future trends of the mesopelagic fish assemblage; 3) to support further research such as investigating the patterns and biophysical drivers of diversity; and 4) to provide the broadscale spatiotemporal perspective necessary for the holistic management and conservation of the open-ocean pelagic ecosystem in the Southern Ocean.

Title Myctobase, a circumpolar database of mesopelagic fishes for new insights into deep pelagic prey fields
Funding This project is funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO). Grant number: contract n°FR/36/AN1/AntaBIS

The personnel involved in the project:

Anton Van de Putte

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Woods, Briannyn, Trebilco, Rowan, Walters, Andrea, Hindell, Mark, Duhamel, Guy, Flores, Hauke, Moteki, Masato, Pruvost, Patrice, Reiss, Christian, Saunders, Ryan, Sutton, Caroline, & Van de Putte, Anton. (2021). Myctobase (1.1) [Data set]. Zenodo.
  2. Collins, Martin A.;Piatkowski, Uwe;Saunders, Ryan A. (2021) Distribution of mesopelagic fish in the Scotia Sea from RMT25 and pelagic trawls deployed from RRS James Clark Ross and RRS John Biscoe. Polar Data Centre, Natural Environment Research Council,UK Research & Innovation.
  3. Australian Antarctic Data Centre (2019). Fish and zooplankton from RMT-8 net hauls on the BROKE voyage. Occurrence dataset accessed via on 2022-05-09.
  4. Sutton, Caroline; Kloser, Rudy; Gershwin, Lisa. Micronekton in southern Australia and the Southern Ocean: A collation of the biomass, abundance, diversity and distribution data from CSIRO’s historical mesopelagic depth stratified net samples.. Hobart: CSIRO; 2018.
  5. Constable, A., Williams, D. and Lamb, T. (2018) Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) Marine Ecosystem, Ver. 1, Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Accessed: 2022-05-09
  6. Van de Putte, A. (2010) Fish catches from Rectangular Midwater Trawl - data collected from the BROKE-West voyage of the Aurora Australis, 2006, Ver. 1, Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Accessed: 2022-05-09
  7. Woods, B., Trebilco, R., Walters, A., Hindell, M., Duhamel, G., Flores, H., Moteki, M., Pruvost, P., Reiss, C., Saunders, R. A., Sutton, C., Yi-Ming Gan,& Van de Putte, A. (2022). Myctobase, a circumpolar database of mesopelagic fishes for new insights into deep pelagic prey fields. Scientific Data.

Additional Metadata