|Geographic Information Systems have become indispensable tools in managing and displaying marine data and information. The purpose of Marine Regions is to create a standard, relational list of geographic names, coupled with information and maps of the geographic location of these features. The objectives are to capture all geographic marine names worldwide, including ocean basins, seas, seamounts, sandbanks, ridges, bays and other marine geographical place names and attributes, and to display univocally the boundaries of marine biogeographic or other managed marine areas in order to facilitate marine data management, marine (bio)geographic research and the management of marine areas. Marine Regions is freely available at MarineRegions.org .
Marine Regions is managed by Flanders Marine Institute. The Marine Regions database builds further on an integration of the VLIMAR Gazetteer (place names) and the VLIZ Maritime Boundaries Geodatabase (polygons for sea areas). Funding for the creation of the VLIMAR gazetteer was provided initially through the EU Network of Excellence MarBEF, funding for the further development and maintenance of Marine Regions is provided by Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) as part of the Belgian contribution to LifeWatch