The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), one of the 40 laboratories in the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), was founded in the year 1966. The institute with headquarters in Goa has three regional centres, one each at Mumbai, Kochi and Visakhapatnam. It manages the Ocean Research Vessel Sagar Kanya (owned by the Department of Ocean Development, Government of India). The institute carries out research in different oceanographic aspects. Over the years it has grown to be the largest ocean research organization in the Indian Ocean Region. The experience and expertise of the institute is extensively utilized by both public and private sector organizations. The institute provides consultancy and contract service on environmental impact assessments, harbour and port development, location of feasible submarine pipelines routes, seabed surveys, design and development of instruments and several other aspects. Research in open coastal waters remains the core of the institute's activities, and following the restructuring operation, the research programmes were reformulated along the project lines. The major areas of research are : sustainable use of coastal zone, coastal dynamics, land-ocean interaction, role of the Indian Ocean in monsoon and climate variability, biodiversity and biomedical potential, quaternary paleoclimate, biogeochemical processes, offshore mineral resources, evolution of continental margins, development of marine instruments, deterioration of materials in marine environments, archaeological exploration, engineering parameters for marine structures, biotechnology for industrial and aquaculture applications, tropical dynamics.
The Bioinformatics Centre at the National Institute of Oceanography was established in 1990 under Biotechnology Information System of DBT, as one of the Distributed Information Sub-Centres. It specializes in the field of Marine Biotechnology. The main function of the centre is to act as a member of BTIS Network for providing information to the interested users on topics pertaining to the relevant areas of Marine Biotechnology. The functions of the centre include, among others, acquisition, creation and development of softwares and databases needed by the users.

The centre is well equipped with modern computer and communication systems. A LAN is also installed at the centre. The centre has dial-up connectivity to BTISnet and INTERNET through their local connection to NIC district centre. The services offered by the centre include both online search through the Internet and offline search through the CD-ROMs. The centre is actively involved in the development of databases, softwares and training of manpower. The important databases developed by the centre include : Marine Prawns of India, Marine Crabs of India, VARGIKI - ANIMALIA, the first web interfaced identification system for the faunal species, the net address for this is, and DARYAVARDI the web directory of oceanographic institutions in India, the address for this is The centre has been engaged in developing a database on "Marine Life of India" and as part of this two CD-ROMs on "Marine Prawns of India" and "Marine Crabs of India" have already been released. The centre also plans to publish "Mangroves of India" and "Marine Fauna" in collaboration with the Centre of Advanced Studies in Marine Biology, Parangipettai. These Cds are valuable for India's Biodiversity Programme. It is planned to release similar Cds on other flora and fauna in the years to come. Several training programmes/workshops have been organised successfully by the centre to train the researchers in the field of bioinformatics. During past eight years the centre has published more than 45 publications. The centre also participated in various national symposiums and workshops.

Dr. D. Chandramohan
Bioinformatics Centre
National Institute of Oceanography
Dona Paula, Goa - 403 004
Ph : 0832-221322, 226253, Extn. 4281
Fax : 0832-223340, 229102
Gram : OCEANGRAPHY, Panaji
Telex : 0194-216 NIO IN 0194-316 MGG IN
E-mail :