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    Myctobase: Toward a circumpolar database of mesopelagic fishes for new insights into mesopelagic prey fields

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    Document Number:
    B.L. Woods, R. Trebilco, A. Walters, M. Hindell, G. Duhamel, H. Flores, M. Moteki, P. Pruvost, C. Reiss, R.A. Saunders, C. Sutton, Y.-M. Gan and A. Van de Putte
    Submitted By:
    Dr Anton Van de Putte (Belgium)
    Approved By:
    Dr Anton Van de Putte (Belgium)

    Despite growing recognition of mesopelagic fish's global significance, they remain comparatively little studied. Because of the Southern Ocean's distant location, sampling is difficult, although mesopelagic fishes play an important role there as both predators and prey. Despite this, over the course of several decades, numerous national Antarctic research programs have sampled mesopelagic fish in their respective regions. But data are scattered, and sampling methods often vary, making it hard to compare results or do comprehensive syntheses. We compiled a metadata inventory of existing survey data for Southern Ocean mesopelagic fishes, and used that to locate possible data proprietors. There were a total of 4780 net hauls from 72 separate research voyages, with data holders contributing 17,491 occurrence and 11,190 abundance records. Information is trait-based and covers a 37-year time span, from 1991 to 2019. (length, weight, maturity). Quality assurance procedures were performed on the final dataset, and exhaustive metadata was provided for each sampling procedure.
    TIn order to increa the FAIR-ness (Finadable, Accesisble, Iteroperable, Reusable) of the data it was standardised using the Darwin Core an has been made availabel through Zenodo, OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System)  and GBIF (Global Biodiversity information Facility). By collecting the extensive baseline data required for observing and modeling mesopelagic fishes, Myctobase will strengthen research capacity.

    With this document we aim to inform SC-CAMLR of the current status of the Myctobase project and to invite CCAMLR members to contribute to the Myctobase database.