The world ocean covers two third of the planet’s surface. With growing human population, increasing pollution and dwindling land based resources, the oceans are increasingly looked upon as a major life sustaining system of our planet. A great number of scientific studies are conducted to estimate the resource potential and the complex ecological processes of the marine environment. This has resulted in the accumulation of large amount of data /information. The success of accurate interpretation and forecasting depends on the efficient management and real-time dissemination of this data /information. 

Information flow on the biodiversity of oceans is vital as some marine species of plants and animals may perish due to increasing human activities, pollution and climate change. The seas bordering India are rich in diverse biota. Unfortunately, the information available on ecologically and economically important genera and species is minimal and scattered. 

Mangrove ecosystem represent a rich and diverse assemblage of many differrent resources. Mangrove forests are recognized as being a major protector of the coastal environment and a valuable economic resource. The awareness of coastal communities in the importance of the conservation of the mangrove forests has been steadily increasing. However, the total area under mangrove forests in India has steadily decreased due to human activities. 

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. During the past 7 years the staff of this Centre have been developing new tools and techniques aimed at efficient data /information management. The present product, a CD-ROM on “Mangroves of India”, forms a part of the “NIO’s Database on Marine Life of India (NIODMLI)” and is the third CD-ROM being released this year. This CD collates information on morphology, taxonomy, systematics, economic uses, biogeography and related information for each of the 60 odd species of mangrove and their associated flora found in India. This product will be extremely useful for educational purposes, policy makers, managers, accademics, researchers and students. 

I  take this opportunity to congratulate my colleagues Dr. D. Chandramohan, Shri Devanand Kavlekar, Vishwanath Kulkarni and Dr. A.G. Untawale for bringing out such an useful product in the field of biodiversity. 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]