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African Register of Marine Species (AfReMaS)

#accepted species: 24,118

The African Register of Marine Species is a taxonomic database of marine species found along the African coasts. The database was originally developed as the Marine Species Database for Eastern Africa (MASDEA). It was extended thereafter to include species from the entire African coast.

The African Register of Marine Species aims to compile and manage an authoritative list of species occurring along the African marine coasts. It is intended to be used as support for biodiversity research for conservation and sustainable management of marine environment.

The list currently includes species belonging mostly to mollusks, sponges and decapods which had been updated from data mining workshops conducted by ODINAFRICA. Currently the focus is on addition of other taxonomic groups such as fish, phytoplankton and zooplankton.

Content from AfReMaS is shared with the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). The objective of WoRMS is to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, including information on synonyms.

Editoral Board

The AfReMaS Editorial Board consists of taxonomic and data management experts. Itis in process to be extended to internationally recognize taxonomic editors. The AfReMaS editorial board does not directly have the authority to modify taxonomic information stored in the register; however, the editors may collaborate with WoRMS taxonomic editors to effect changes

The editorial board is mainly tasked to:

  • Contribute to the data mining, identification of datasets and identification of authoritative literature associated with taxa distribution
  • Assist with the review of existing unverified register records
  • Assist with the compilation of distribution records for areas of interest to African scientists


Usage of data from the African Register of Marine Species in scientific publications should be acknowledged by citing as follows:

  • Odido, M.; Appeltans, W.; BelHassen, M.; Mussai, P.; Nsiangango, S.E.; Vandepitte, L.; Wambiji, N.; Zamouri, N. Jiddou, A.M. (Eds) (2024). African Register of Marine Species. Accessed at on 2024-05-29
If the data from the African Register of Marine Species constitute a substantial proportion of the records used in analyses, the chief editor(s) of the database should be contacted. There may be additional data which may prove valuable to such analyses.

Individual pages are individually authored and dated. These can be cited separately: the proper citation is provided at the bottom of each page.


Like all such lists, AfReMaS undoubtedly contains errors, as it is an evolving process, new species are added, some are shown to be invalid (or misidentified), and some species are recognized as synonymous with other names. The AfReMaS editorial board, in collaboration with WoRMS taxonomic editors, maintains these registers but is aware that they may not be complete and may contain errors. The board cannot be held responsible for any errors or misuse of data contained in this register. Comments from our users are more than welcome, so if you come across incorrect or incomplete information, or you are willing to contribute to this initiative, please contact