About The Project
The Database of Marine Organisms of Mauritius is an initiative of the Mauritius Oceanography Institute, with the aim to provide a baseline for marine biodiversity in Mauritian Waters and a tool for researchers, developers and decision-makers.
This Database is a list of marine species occurring in the Mauritian maritime territory compiled from literature and other existing databases. The classification and references of each of the reported species are provided.
The Database attempts to cover marine organisms reported from the entire maritime territory of the Republic of Mauritius , which extends over an area of about 1.9 million square kilometres. However, the highest number of species reported are coastal organisms around the island of Mauritius , followed by Chagos Archipelago and Rodrigues. Fewer numbers are reported from Cargados Carajos Archipelago which has received little attention on the part of scientists mainly because of their remoteness. Offshore Mauritian waters have been poorly studied.
Accessing the Database of Marine Organisms of Mauritius
Currently the database can be searched using search and browse menus, and a reference search can also be undertaken.
The search option allows search of scientific names. Entry of partial names will automatically generate suggestions for complete names.
The browse option displays a list of species under selected higher taxa or species occurring around islands of the Republic of Mauritius.
The reference search menu allows search of a reference using Author, or Title, Year or Species.
Various sources have been used for the compilation of data for the database. The starting point was the list of marine species compiled by Claude Michel in the Mauritius Institute Bulletin, Volume VII , Part 2 of May 1974. Taxonomy, being a dynamic field with regular revisions in nomenclature and classification, many of the names listed by Michel (1974) are now no longer in use and appear as synonyms. In cases where the names are not found in other databases or references, the species is listed as a separate entity. We believe that some of these might be synonyms, but in the absence of literature we present them as current species names.
The following other major sources of data have been important in building this database:
  • Information on fish has been obtained from two major sources, namely the Field Guide to Reef Fishes of Mauritius and FishBase.
  • AlgaeBase has provided most of the information on algae presented in this database.
  • The Marine Species Database of Eastern Africa, MASDEA, was the source of organisms of various kingdoms.
  • The Field Guide to Corals of Mauritius and the Hexacorallians of the World have been the sources of information on cnidarians.
  • Several papers reporting marine organisms from Mauritian Waters have been used, all of which have been mentioned in the references for the reported species.
Classification of the recorded organisms
Classification of organisms varies depending on the sources from where a species is recorded. For the purpose of this Database, the classification system of Integrated Taxonomic Information System, ITIS, was adopted to find taxonomic appurtenances of each genus that has been so far compiled.
Photograph contributors
We are grateful to Thierry Dandrimont and the Albion Fisheries Research Centre for freely providing photographs of some molluscs and cnidarians respectively.
Photographs in assemblage of marine organisms appearing on the Home page: Copyright and courtesy of Nolan de Chalain.
Our contributors maintain the copyright of each of the photographs that they have provided.
Many of the reports of marine organisms are relatively old, some dating as early as the 1800’s. The zone of collection of these early reported specimens was only “ Mauritius ”, without any specification with regard to the location they were collected. Details on distribution are provided whenever available in literature.
Any usage of data from this web site in publications must be acknowledged as follows:
Database of Marine Organisms of Mauritius 2007. Mauritius Oceanography Institute [online]. https://moi.govmu.org/marinedb [Accessed dd.mm.yyyy].
The CD-ROM version of the Database is available from the Institute. See the contact us page for more information.
See the Disclaimer page for copyright issues.




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