Bay of Biscay

The Bay of Biscay is found in the south of the Celtic Sea.

This gulf forms part of the Atlantic Ocean. France and Spain are the borders of this bay.

This bay is thought to be named after the western Basque districts from the northern Spanish coast.

The storms during the winter are intense and scary over this bay – so beware!

This bay is also known by a few other names such as The Gulf of Biscaya, Golfo de Vizcaya, and Golfe de Gascogne.

Bay of Biscay Facts for Kids

  • Did you know that the space that this bay covers in 222738 square km (86 000 miles)? Its waters have an average depth of 1744m (5722 feet).
  • Rivers join up with the bay and a few of these are The Charente, the Adour, the Nivelle, and the Loire.
  • Many cities line the shores of the gulf such as Bordeaux, Brest, Nantes, La Rochelle, Aviles, Gijon, Santander, and a few more.
  • Did you know that many ships have sunk here too? The boats that sank in the bay included the USS Californian, the SS Afrique, and the Soviet Submarine K-8. This makes these waters very historic and interesting to study.
  • The navy has quite a presence in this bay and also has formed its own history in these waters! There was the Battle of the Bay of Biscay in 1943. This battle was between England and Germany as part of the Atlantic Campaign of World War II.
  • The marine life of the bay is very interesting with many different species making it their home! These include harbor porpoises, sperm whales, bottlenose whales, beaked whales, short-beaked common dolphins, and striped dolphins just to name a few!
  • Some of these sea creatures are on the threatened species list and they must be protected! The animals on the list are the blue whale, the harbor porpoise, and the northern right whale. The North American Right Whales are highly endangered due to whalers in the area.
  • There are also fish species that are under threat and their population numbers are getting very low. These fish are the long-snouted seahorse, salmon, European eel, and the gulper shark.
  • Did you know that one of the most popular fish types in the Bay of Biscay is anchovies?
  • This bay is not just home to creatures under the sea, but some in the sky too! The most common seabird found in this area in the gannet.
  • You won’t be able to play in the waves of the Bay of Biscay because they can get very high in the winter due to intense weather conditions!


1. What space does the Bay of Biscay cover overall?

2. Name three rivers that join the Bay of Biscay.

3. Which is the endangered whale species that lives in the Bay of Biscay?

4. What is the most popular type of fish in this area?

5. Which sea if the Bay of Biscay part of?