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Sea of Okhotsk

The sea of Okhotsk is located on the west side of the Pacific Ocean.

It was named a long time ago after the first town in the Far East of Russia.

The sea is bordered by the Kamchatka Peninsula on the Eastern end, the Kuril Islands on the southeast end, the island of Hokkaido on the southern corner, the Sakhalin Island along its western border, and a long extension of the eastern Siberian shore which includes the Shantar Islands along its west and north corners. On its northeast corner is the Shelikhov Gulf.

Sea of Okhotsk Facts for Kids

  • The Sea of Okhotsk is considered as a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean covering a total area of approximately 611,200 square miles (1,583,000 kilometer square).
  • The Sea of Okhotsk has a mean depth of 2,818 feet (859 meters) while its maximum depth is 3,372 feet (3,372 meters).
  • The Sea of Okhotsk is linked to the Sea of Japan by the Sakhalin Gulf and Gulf of Tartary on its western end and via La Perouse Strait on its southern side.
  • During the winters it becomes difficult to sail across the Sea of Okhotsk due to ice formation which causes an increase in the amount of freshwater which leads to a reduction of salinity levels thus raising the surface freezing point.
  • Vassili Poyarkov and Ivan Moskvitin were the first adventurers to explore the Sea of Okhotsk in the 1640s.
  • In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Americans and the Europeans had already started whaling activities in the Sea of Okhotsk. As a result, there are many ships remain found in the sea due to whaling activities during that period.
  • The shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk is believed to contain mineral deposits, for example, its shelf is believed to contain approximately 3.5 billion tons of fuel.
  • The Sea of Okhotsk has several ports in it, the main ones being those that are found in Magadan which is located in Russia and Abashiri, Monbetsu and Wakkanai which are located in Japan.
  • Politically the Sea of Okhotsk is basically said to be in Russia since the surrounding land on all corners of the sea are in parts of the Russian Federation except Hokkaido which is an island belonging to Japan.
  • The Sea of Okhotsk is a home of many islands with some being bigger than others. They include Hokkaido Island which is the second largest island in Japan, Sakhalin Sony Island which is the largest Island in Russia and the only island located in open waters. However, most of the islands in this sea are not occupied by human beings thus making ideal breeding sites for animals such as the sea lions, seabirds and seals among others.
  • The Sea of Okhotsk is unique due to its high natural productivity and its important impact on the Pacific Ocean through water exchanges. Long-term temperature records have demonstrated cooling and warming conditions on the sea thus resulting to changes in the populations of the creatures that live in it. For example in the 1980s there was warming in the Sea of Okhotsk which led to an increase in the number of fish, in the second half of the 1990s there was cooling in the sea and the population of the fishes decreased. In the early 2000s, the situation had worsened but by the end of the decade there was warming and the population of the fish increased again.
  • The Sea of Okhotsk has several seaports in it, they include Abashiri, Hokkaido, Monbestu, and Wakkanai which are located in Japan while those located in Russia include Magadan, Palana and Kamchatka.