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Canadian Registers for Aquatic Biodiversity

Regional registers of aquatic species were developed as part of the DFO NSDMC taxonomic standards project.

What is the DFO NSDMC taxonomic standards project?  for the answer click here

About registers of species

A register of species is an authoritative list of all species in a defined area.  A register must be dynamic, such that it is updated with missing, changed, and new records.  Species names must be validated in terms of taxonomy and geography using published references, reliable we sources, or museum vouchers. Regional registers of marine species feed into the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS)

History of Canadian registers of species

Atlantic registers of marine species were developed by the Atlantic Reference Centre and encompass plants, animals and occasional protozoa.  For a complete history of the development of these registers please refer to: report in preparation

About the Canadian register of aquatic species database and CaRMS, a Canadian register of marine species

In September of 2009, regional registers of marine species compiled by the Atlantic Reference Centre (ARC) were passed over to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) for futher development and support for maintenance.  The original ARC master register, NWARMS, contained  sub registers for the Canadian Atlantic, the Gulf of Maine and the Bay of Fundy regions.  Details on the NWARMS register are described elsewhere.  These original registers were imported into an Oracle database designed to house registers of aquatic species (freshwater and marine).  This database is housed at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.  Marine content from these registers is passed along to the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). A web page for the Canadian Register of Marine Species (CaRMS) has been set up on the WoRMS site and can be accessed at

Taxonomic Standards Group was created to assist with the development of new regional registers of species and to promote the concept of using these registers to assist in quality controlling local bio-geographical distribution datasets.

For more information on specific regional registers contained within the Canadian Register of Species database and its marine component, CaRMS, simply select from the list below



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