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Sea of ​​Okhotsk

Sea of ​​Okhotsk
Area: 1603 thousand km2
The greatest depth: 3916 m

The Sea of ​​Okhotsk is part of the Pacific Ocean, separated from it by the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kurile Islands and the island of Hokkaido. The sea is washed by the shores of Russia and Japan. The Okhotsk Sea is named after the river Okhota, which in turn comes from Evenk. Okat - the "river". Earlier it was called Lamsky (from the Evenki Lam - "the sea"), as well as the Kamchatka Sea.

The western part of the sea is located on the continental shelf and has a shallow depth. In the center of the sea are the Deryugin depressions (in the south) and the TINRO depression. In the eastern part there is the Kuril hollow, in which the depth is maximal. The coast in the north is heavily indented, in the northeast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk is its largest bay - the Bay of Shelikhov. Of the smaller bays in the northern part, the Eyrinean lip and the bays of Shelting, Zabiyaka, Babushkina and Kekurny are most famous. In the east, the coastline of the Kamchatka peninsula is practically devoid of bays. In the south-west the largest are the Aniva and Terpeniya Gulfs, the Odessa Gulf on the island of Iturup.

Sea of ​​Okhotsk
Territorial regime

The Okhotsk Sea, although surrounded almost from all sides by the territory of the Russian Federation, is not its inland sea; Its water area is comprised of inland sea waters, the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone. In the central part of the sea there is a stretch in the meridian direction, in the English-language literature traditionally referred to as Peanut Hole, which is not part of the exclusive economic zone of Russia and is legally an open sea; In particular, any country in the world has the right to fish and conduct another activity permitted by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Since this region is an important element for the reproduction of a population of some species of commercial fish, some governments explicitly prohibit their vessels from fishing in this part of the sea.

Sea of ​​Okhotsk
Temperature and salinity

In winter, the water temperature at the sea surface is from -1,8 to 2,0 ° C, in summer the temperature rises to 10-18 ° C. Below the surface layer, at depths of about 50-150 meters there is an intermediate cold layer of water, the temperature of which does not change during the year and is about -1,7 ° C. Entering the sea through the Kurile Straits of the Pacific Ocean water form deep water masses with a temperature of 2,5 - 2,7 ° C (at the very bottom - 1,5-1,8 ° C). In coastal areas with significant river runoff, water has a winter temperature of about 0 ° C, in the summer - 8-15 ° C. Salinity of surface sea water - 32,8-33,8 per mil. Salinity of the intermediate layer is 34,5 ‰. The deep waters have a salinity of 34,3 - 34,4 ‰. Coastal waters have a salinity of less than 30 ‰.

Sea of ​​Okhotsk
Bottom relief

The Sea of ​​Okhotsk is located in the zone of transition of the continent to the ocean floor. The sea basin is divided into two parts: northern and southern. The first is a submerged (up to 1000 m) continental shelf; In its limits, the elevations of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Institute of Oceanology occupy the central part of the sea, the Deryugin Depression (near Sakhalin) and Tinro (near Kamchatka). The southern part of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk is occupied by the deep-water Kuril basin, which is separated from the ocean by the Kurile island ridge. Coastal sediments are terrigenous coarse-grained, in the central part of the sea - diatomaceous ooze. The Earth's crust under the sea is represented by continental and submaterial types in the northern part and sub-oceanic type in the southern part. The formation of the basin in the northern part occurred during the anthropogenous time, due to the lowering of large blocks of the continental crust. The deep-water Kuril basin is much older; It was formed either as a result of the lowering of the continental block, or due to the separation of part of the ocean floor.

Sea of ​​Okhotsk
Vegetation and fauna

According to the species composition of the organisms inhabiting the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, it has an Arctic character. The species of the temperate (boreal) strip, due to the thermal effects of oceanic waters, is mainly inhabited by the southern and south-eastern parts of the sea. The phytoplankton of the sea is dominated by diatoms, in zooplankton - copepods and jellyfish, larvae of mollusks and worms. On the littoral there are numerous settlements of mussels, littorines and other mollusks, barnacles of balanus, sea urchins, many crustaceans of amphibians and crabs. At great depths, a rich invertebrate fauna was found (glass sponges, holothurians, deep-water eight-ray corals, decapod crustaceans) and fish. The most abundant and widespread group of plant organisms in the littoral zone are brown algae. In the sea are also widely distributed red, in the north-western part - green algae. Of fish, salmon are the most valuable: chum, pink salmon, coho salmon, chinook salmon, sockeye salmon. Known commercial gatherings of herring, pollock, flounder, cod, navaga, capelin, smelt. Inhabit mammals - whales, seals, sea lion seals, fur seals. Of great economic importance are Kamchatka and blue, or flat-footed, crabs (the Okhotsk Sea ranks first in the world in terms of commercial crab stocks), salmon fish.

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