NeDiT Marine Biodiversity Data Digitization and Publication Workshop

The Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) in collaboration with the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI) organized a two-day workshop on Marine Biodiversity Data Digitization and Publication on 04th and 05th June 2020. 

To facilitate an updating of the Tanzania marine biodiversity data, the IMS and ZMT jointly executed a workshop as a part of the institutional capacity development activities for the New Digital Technologies for Marine Biodiversity Data Handling in East Africa (NeDiT) project.

A need to facilitate capacity building in marine biodiversity data handling was expressed as one major objective of the NeDIT project, mainly to enable the establishment of a comprehensive and up-to-date marine species list, or a searchable web-based database. Improvements will also be in the form of inclusion of occurrence data, photographs and attribution to species commercial importance and commonness.

A standardized and unified mechanism to manage marine biodiversity data was another main aspect of the workshop, emphasized by a member of COSTECH. This standardization was shown to be implemented with the TanBIF system as a gateway for biodiversity data and the TanBIF/GBIF ‘s Integrated Data Publishing Toolkit (IPT) as an open access tool for publishing and sharing biodiversity data. The Darwin Core Standard (DwC) was introduced as an IPT-compliant biodiversity data formatting tool. The actual uploading and publication of the IPT-compliant checklist data (in the form of Darwin Core Archive) into the TanBiF system was demonstrated on the second day of the workshop.

The workshop took place at the TAFIRI Headquarters in Dar es Salaam and was facilitated by Dr. Hulda Gidion of the Tanzania Commission for Science of Technology (COSTECH), who is in charge of the Tanzania Biodiversity Information Facility (TanBIF) being hosted at COSTECH in the framework of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

What’s next? IMS and TAFIRI discussed the way forward regarding the task for the TAFIRI personnel, mostly concerning the updating of the marine species checklist data to be supplied by COSTECH.