General Information

The creation of a national Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) archive of marine biological and chemical data has been the long-term goal of many dedicated individuals. The initial motivation for the project came about when a 1997 meeting of DFO's Climate Science Coordinating Committee reported that one fundamental problem was the lack of biological databases to assess the implications of climate change in developing monitoring programs.

BioChem is the name of the resulting database, which was developed and is maintained by DFO to hold biological and chemical data resulting from department research initiatives or that are collected in areas of Canadian interest. The data held in BioChem are divided into two functional areas: discrete data (usually from water bottle sampling; examples are nutrients, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll) and plankton data (usually from towed nets; examples are species counts and biomass measures). In addition to its initial goal of providing data to support climate research, the archived data are also used for other purposes, for example, to improve our understanding of ecosystem variability and to support fisheries research.

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An internal review of data loaded by Maritimes Region to BioChem has resulted in the identification of a number of content-related issues. The affected data will be unavailable until further review can be completed. Data will be made available again to BioChem query users as each data set is reviewed and the issues addressed. Should you require data loaded by Maritimes Region, please contact XMAR, Datashop ( providing details, including geographic and temporal coordinates, in your request. We will review requests and when possible provide data. Our apologies for any inconvenience and our thanks for your understanding.

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BioChem Citation

Please cite BioChem as follows:

DFO ( 2017). BioChem: database of biological and chemical oceanographic data. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada. Database accessed on –insert date here

In addition please include the following in your list of references:

Devine, L., M.K. Kennedy, I. St-Pierre, C. Lafleur, M. Ouellet, and S. Bond. 2014. BioChem: the Fisheries and Oceans Canada database for biological and chemical data. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 3073: iv + 40 pp.

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