Opportunistic records of marine megafauna in Suriname

Green Heritage Fund of Suriname

Dataset credit

Monique Pool, Green Heritage Fund of Suriname


Primary contact Monique Pool Green Heritage Fund of Suriname
Secondary contact Marijke de Boer Wageningen Marine Research, University of Wageningen
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) project in Suriname was initiated in 2017. Part of this EU-funded project focussed on collecting all the information regarding marine megafauna within the region (Suriname and Guyana). As part of the MSP project we searched for potential marine megafauna data holders and different data-sets were found:
(1) research data: published and unpublished data collected during dedicated (effort-related) marine fauna surveys (where a GPS track was available);
(2) data collected by Marine Fauna Observers during geophysical seismic surveys (without an available GPS track);
(3) Opportunistic data collected without keeping track of effort (e.g. website, social media and other sighting records collected by university students or citizens); and
(4) Systematic land-based observations carried out during sea turtle surveys on Braamspunt. Here you can find all opportunistic records of marine megafauna in Suriname, including coastal and offshore regions. For the MSP-project we used records which were classed as 'Definite' or 'Probable'. Where 'Definite' records were accompanied by photo; and 'Probable' records had a good description and were coming from a trusted source. Other records with
an unsure identification (for example 'possible green turtle'), were upgraded to 'Probable' records of species-groups, e.g. 'hard-shelled turtle', 'ray species', 'shark species', 'dolphin sp'. All other records were discarded. NB all bird records submitted by the holders of the
database 'Birds of Suriname' were classed as 'Definite'.


The project aims to significantly enhance the governance and protection of marine and coastal resources of Guyana and Suriname through collaborative processes with all ocean stakeholders, improved knowledge of the coastal and marine environment, enhanced capacity of key stakeholders and informed marine spatial management. Upon completion of the marine Spatial planning project, we aim to continue to add new marine megafauna records to OBIS SEAMAP.

Supplemental information

Accuracy of time varies record by record. '00:00' or '12:00' indicates the time is not available.


De Boer MN, Willems T. 2015. Observation of a humpback whale Megaptera noviaeangliae with calf in the shallow coastal waters off Suriname. Academic Journal of Suriname. 6: 492-497.
Willems T, De Boer MN, Saulino JT. 2017. Offshore Surprises: new avifauna records for Suriname. Brazilian Journal of Ornithology. 25(3): 191-206.



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.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downloadable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission.

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
database_refDatabase reference
date_orgDate in original format
start_time_orgTime in original format
timezoneTime zone (LT: local time zone)
date_timeDate / time
observer_codeObserver code
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
water_depthWater depth (m)
platformtypePlatform type
speciesSpecies name
latin_nameScientific name
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
species_certaintyCertainty of the species identification
num_animalsTotal number of animals
adultNumber of adults
juvNumber of Juvenile
calfNumber of Carlves.
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals17
Sea turtles3
Rays and sharks2
Other species4,960
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin1900-08-12
Date, End2019-05-14
Temporal prec.111110
Latitude5.53 - 10.53
Longitude-57.10 - -52.13
Coord. prec.0 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with OBIS
GBIF (via DOI)
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics