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In this paper, we present SCAR’s Marine Biodiversity Information Network (SCAR-MarBIN, www.scarmarbin.be), introduce the new Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF, HYPERLINK "http://www.biodiversity.aq" www.biodiversity.aq) and argue that it has become vital and practicable to support an international mechanism for the exchange of scientific data. This approach allows to integrate large data volumes, and helps modern biologists to face a “data deluge” using new techniques and technologies currently developed in the field of biodiversity informatics. Biodiversity is an example of data-intensive science, and certainly requires an interdisciplinary, scalable approach to address complex systemic problems such as environmental change and its impact on marine ecosystems. This paper discusses the experience of data scientists seeking to collect, curate, and provide data during the timeframe of the International Polar Year. The data content of the SCAR-MarBIN and ANTABIF holdings has been explored, and recent published analyses are used to illustrate concrete examples. We find that while technology is a critical factor to address this dimension, the greater challenges are more socio-cultural than technical. We describe a vision of discoverable, open, linked, useful, and safe data and suggest the need for a rapid socio-technical evolution in the overall science data ecosystem.