Southern Ocean ecosystems offer numerous benefits to human society and the global environment, and maintaining them requires well-informed and effective ecosystem-based management. Up to date and accurate information is needed on the status of species, communities, habitats and ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries, tourism and climate change. This information can be used to generate indicators and undertake assessments to advise decision-makers. Currently, most marine assessments are derivative: reliant on the review of published peer-reviewed literature. More timely and accurate information for decision making requires an integrated Marine Biological Observing and Informatics System that combines and distributes data. For such a system to work, data needs to be shared according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable), use transparent and reproducible science, adhere to the principle of action ecology and complement global initiatives. Here we aim to provide an overview of the components of such a system currently in place for the Southern Ocean, the existing gaps and a framework for a way forward.