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


Woods, B and Trebilco, R and Walters, A and Hindell, M and Duhamel, G and Flores, H and Moteki, M and Pruvost, P and Reiss, C and Saunders, RA and Sutton, C and Gan, Y-M and Van de Putte, A, Myctobase, a circumpolar database of mesopelagic fishes for new insights into deep pelagic prey fields, Scientific Data, 9, (1) Article 404. ISSN 2052-4463 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41597-022-01496-y


The global importance of mesopelagic fish is increasingly recognised, but they remain 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 Zenodo. Myctobase will enhance research capacity by providing the broadscale baseline data necessary for observing and modelling mesopelagic fishes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Myctobase, mesopelagic fishes, Southern Ocean, data, database, prey fields
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
UTAS Author:Woods, B (Ms Briannyn Woods)
UTAS Author:Trebilco, R (Dr Rowan Trebilco)
UTAS Author:Walters, A (Dr Andrea Walters)
UTAS Author:Hindell, M (Professor Mark Hindell)
ID Code:152007
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-08-09
Last Modified:2022-11-17
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