Computer based information storage; retrieval and scanning have proved to be of great help and convenient in handling the large amounts of data sets. Enormous amounts of information generated in fields of biology, biotechnology and oceanography demands real-time management. 

The Bioinformatics Centre at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa is engaged in collation and dissemination of marine biological information of the Indian seas. Efforts of this Centre during the past 7 years have earned recognition to the Institute. Staff of this Centre have been developing new tools and techniques aimed at efficient data/information management. The present product, "CDROM  on Marine Crabs of India", forms a part of the "NIO's Database on Marine Life of India (NIODMLI)" and is the second CDROM being released this year. A CDROM on "Marine Prawns of India" was released on January 17, 1998 which was widely appreciated. The second CDROM collates taxonomy, systematics, biogeography, life cycle and morphology related information on 75 crab species that are found in Marine and estuarine waters of this country. This package also lists the specialists on marine crabs in India and their important publications. "CRAB SEARCH" is a search engine specially incorporated to facilitate easy searching and retrieval of the information. This multimedia CDROM was developed in HTML format using the web browser, thus making it more user-friendly. It can be made available on Internet Server ( as a value added service. 

Apart from collecting the marine biological data/information, the Bioinformatics Centre has played  major roles in planning and establishing a Local Area Network (NIOLAN) and the Indian National Oceanographic Internet Server (INOIS) at this Institute. This center is also active in developing new tools for Computer Aided Taxonomy (CAT) for Marine Biota. Vargiki-Animalia ver.1.0 is one such effort, which can be accessed over our Internet Server ( 

I take this opportunity to congratulate my colleagues Drs. Baban Ingole and  Dr. D. Chandramohan, Shri. Vishwas Chavan, Shri. Devanand Kavlekar and Shri. Vishwanath Kulkarni for their best and untiring efforts in bringing out such a unique and user-friendly package. I must also express our sincere thanks to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi for funding the Bioinformatics activities at NIO, Goa. 

[E. Desa]