The Belgian Marine Mammals Database (BMM)

EurOBIS Data Management Team, Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)

Dataset credit



Primary contact EurOBIS Data Management Team Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)
Secondary contact Jan Haelters Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen Operationele Directie Natuurlijk Milieu (IRScNB/KBIN-OD Natuur)
Secondary contact Thierry Jauniaux Université de Liège Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire (ULG)
Secondary contact Serge Scory Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen (IRScNB/KBIN)
Secondary contact Thomas Vandenberghe Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen (IRScNB/KBIN)


Haelters, J., Jauniaux, T. (2019) The Belgian marine mammals database
Eurobis data management team. 2020. The Belgian Marine Mammals Database (BMM). Data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP ( on yyyy-mm-dd and originated from OBIS (


The marine mammals website ( in its current form is the result of a long-standing collaboration between RBINS and the University of Liège and provides access to data from 50 years of marine mammal observations in Belgium. The database that backs it consists of two parts, i.e. observations and information on necropsied tissues and subsequent diagnoses on the cause of the death of the animal. The database records all stranding events in Belgium from recent years. The dataset provides the occurrences and associated data like putative circumstances and putative cause of death.



Supplemental information

This dataset was downloaded from OBIS ( The records for only marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles and rays and sharks were extracted. Records with no longitude/latitude or no date (eventDate) were excluded.
OBIS dataset page:
Data Provider's dataset page:


Haelters, J., Jauniaux, T. (2019) The Belgian marine mammals database



This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
All attributes are included in the downloadable file (CSV or ESRI File Geodatabase) for "Complete Set of Dataset".

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidInternal ID
idRecord ID
dataset_idDataset ID
scientificnameScientific name
vernacularnameVernacular name
aphiaidAphia ID
taxonranktaxononic rank
individualcountGroup size / individual count
eventdateEvent date (precision varies)
eventtimeEvent time
decimallatitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
decimallongitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
coordinateprecisionCoordinate precision
catalognumberCatalog number
collectioncodeCollection code
occurrencestatusOccurrence status
basisofrecordBasis of record (HumanObservation / MachineObservation)
modifiedDate/time the record was modified
node_idNode ID
occurrenceidOccurrence ID
occurrenceremarksOccurrence remarks
eventidEvent ID
institutioncodeInstitution code
lifestageLife stage
sexGender of the animal if known
speciesSpecies by provider
datasetidDataset ID by provider
localityLocation of ocean
waterbodyDetails of ocean
droppedFlag indicating the record was dropped (always false)
absenceFlag indicating the record represents the absence of the species (always false)
marineFlag indicating the record is for marine life (always true)
Marine mammals3,745
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1945-07-01
Date, End2019-04-01
Temporal prec.110000
Latitude50.52 - 52.52
Longitude0.22 - 4.89
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. throughiOBIS
Sharing policy CC-BY (All)
Shared with None
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics