Northeast Fisheries Science Center Benthic Database


Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) Benthic Database is available at OBIS; Original data includes depth, sediment type, gear type, number, weight, family, class, genus, species name, and abundance compiled from work by Wigley and Theroux on the macrofauna of the Northeastern United States and other major studies (Ocean Pulse, the Northeast Monitoring Program, New York Bight, 12 Mile Dumpsite, Long Island Sound and Raritan Bay surveys). The OBIS compiled data includes species name, individual count, lat/lon, and some environmental correlates like depth and salinity.

Dataset Location: OBIS NEFSC Benthic Database

Direct Download: OBIS NEFSC Benthic Database

Site Location: New Zealand coast, covering some Australian and Antartic waters

Site(s) Georeferenced: Yes; 225,000 records from 21,000 sample sites

Timespan: 1900 - 1989, most intensive records from 1955 - 1986

Sampling Frequency: Irregularly

Data Collection Summary / Methods: A study fleet of comercial vessesls and the NEFSC research vesels collect depth, temperature, and species catch / sightings during deployment. Sampling methods include bottom trawl, fisheries catch, and shellfish surveys. Details of these methods are poorly documented but may be found at NOAA: NOAA Fisheries Science Program Review, NEFSC Fisheries Biology Program (Equipment and Methods InfoSheet), NEFSC Fisheries Service, NEFSC Study Fleet

Data collected: species name, individual count, date, location, temperature, depth, salinity, nitrogen, oxygen, silicate

Known Issues: To obtain this dataset you must use the interactive data mapper and make multiple clicks to orient and dowload data. May be difficult to locate quickly or with an automated program.

Some records in the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Benthic Database may also occur in the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Bottom Trawl Survey Dataset. OBIS-USA did not eliminate this possible duplication because each dataset is a published unit, and OBIS-USA chose to maintain each as a complete representation of the original data. This possible overlap is a consequence of decisions made by the developers of the datasets.

Best Practices: tips for separating the wheat from the chaff
Conditions for use: 'freely available' and 'open-access' as per OBIS:

Copied from OBIS metadata: 'Prior to use of these records in any analysis or report, Steven Fromm must be notified and if used the provenance of the original data must be acknowledged. Acknowledge the use of specific records from contributing NOAA databases and acknowledge the use of the OBIS-USA facility. Recognize the limitations of data in OBIS-USA.'

OBIS-USA Data Use Agreement

Citation/ Distributing Author: Northeast Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce. 2010. NEFSC Benthic Database. Northeast Fisheries Science Center, 166 Water Street, Woods Hole Laboratories, Woods Hole, MA 02543.Retrieved from
Supplemental resources: NESFC Publications
Available via the EcoData Retriever: No

Last modified: 
Taxonomic Group: 
Ecosystem level: 
Spatial scale: 
Data type: 
Access to data: