The Biological Reference Collections (CBR) were institutionalized in 1981. This service comprises near to 2000 species of fishes, crustaceans and cephalopods from all over the world, mainly from the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
Facilities are provided to identify, perform research, catalogue, and deposit and preserve marine organisms collected during marine research studies. Nowadays, genetic analyses are widely used in population genetic and phylogeny studies and voucher specimens need to be deposited in reference biological collections. CBR act therefore as a scientific marine reference facility.
There are more than 26000 catalogued specimens which are a reference for taxonomic, faunistic and phylogenetic studies for both the national and international scientific community. The data base for most of these specimens is available online. The CBR actively participate in international platforms for biodiversity research such as GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility). More of 7000 otoliths from 2300 species can be consulted remotely using AFORO web site.
The collections are located in fireproof cupboards, mobile shelves and other shelving racks in a room with ventilation and air conditioning system. Almost all specimens are preserved in ethanol 70°. CBR has laboratory facilities with material for research and for conservation tasks of the specimens: optical and photographic instruments, computer equipment, dissection material, laboratory equipment, store of containers and other materials. The specimens not yet ready for deposit are stored in freezers.
Link to the AFORO website, offering an open online catalogue of otolith images and its associated shape analysis.