Computer based information storage; retrieval and scanning have proved to be of great importance in handling the large amounts of data being generated every day. The amount of information generated in the field of biology and biotechnology all over the world is unprecedented and calls for an efficient system for its real-time management and dissemination. This realization has resulted into establishment of "Biotechnology Information System Network (BTISNET)" by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in India. This decade old information system has been proved to be efficient and prompt enough in providing value added information to the large and wide ranging biological and allied community in the country.  

      Bioinformatics Centre at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa has been playing a major role in collation and dissemination of marine biological knowledge of the Indian seas.  Efforts of this Centre during past 7 years have received much recognition to them. Staff of this Centre has been involved in developing new tools and techniques aimed at efficient data/information management in marine biology. This product on CDROM "Marine Prawns of India" which forms the part of their "NIO's Databases on Marine Life of India (NIODMLI)" is one such example.  

      This volume 1 of the "Marine Prawns of India" collates information related to taxonomy, morphology, anatomy, life cycle, and biogeography about 52 prawn species available in Indian marine and estuarine waters. This multimedia product has been developed to be retrieved using HTML browser, thus making the access user-friendly. It has also been planned to host the database on the Internet ( as a value-added service. This will ensure wider dissemination of the information across the political and economical boundaries. I am sure a product of this nature would be useful to academicians, researchers, prawnery managers, planners and students to a great extent.  

      At this juncture I wish to congratulate the staff of the Centre for their efforts in bringing out such a product. I must also thank Dr. E. Desa, Director, NIO for his constant encouragement and ever grooming support to the BIOINFORMATICS activities in his institute. A word of appreciation should also be spelt out about Dr. D. Chandramohan, Officer-in-Charge who has articulately led the Centre in developing such a unique and useful product. I also wish to congratulate Shri/s. Vishwas Chavan, Devanand Kavlekar and Vishwanath Kulkarni whose efforts have been culminated into this product. I wish them all the very bests.  

[Dr. J. R. Arora]