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What is CaRMS?

CaRMS Register Database Design
CaRMS is an Oracle database built to archive Canadian regional registers of species. Each register will not be an individual entity within the database but rather each taxon name will be linked to individual register names based upon the taxon’s geographical distribution and the individual register’s area definition.

About regional registers of marine species
The aim of a World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, including information on synonymy. While highest priority goes to valid names, other names in use are included so that this register can serve as a guide to interpret taxonomic literature.  (

The aim of a regional register is to provide a similar list but for a specific geographical area.  Example NARMS is a register of marine species for the north Atlantic.  CaRMS is a database that contains Canadian compiled regional registers such as NWARMS and GoMRMS.  These regional registers may be used to quality control local species lists. 

Content from CaRMS will be provided to the world register of marine species.  With this aim in mind the structure of CaRMS was built to reflect that of WoRMS.  The terms of reference for the CaRMS board of taxonomic editors and the technical committee is similar to WoRMS, i.e. the content of the registers is controlled by taxonomic experts, not by database managers.

Through integration with WoRMS CaRMS content will be accessible thru the web interface.

The Canadian registers of marine species (CaRMS) grew from registers of marine species compiled by Lou van Guelpen and Gerhard Pohle of the Atlantic Reference Centre (ARC), St. Andrews, New Brunswick.  The ARC is a department of the Huntsman Marine Science Centre and a research museum of Canadian Atlantic marine life.  For a brief history of the ARC’s registers click here.

DFO acquired the ARC’s registers in September of 2008.  An Oracle database was built at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography to archive these and other Canadian regional registers.

During the winter of 2008-09 many records in the ARC set of registers were verified and updated as part of the Gulf of Maine Census of Marine Life (GoMCoML) project.  In addition, species lists were compiled from the Pacific region of Canada and a Pacific Register of Marine Species was developed (NEPacRMS)

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