Sea of Okhotsk

   Part of the western Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Okhotsk is bounded in the north by the Russian territories of Khabarovsk and Magadan, the Kamchatka Peninsula in the east, Sakhalin Island in the west, and the Kuril Islands and the Japanese island of Hokkaido in the south. It connects to the Sea of Japan via the Strait of Tartary and the La Pérouse Strait. The sea has a surface area of 1,528,000 square kilometers. Due to the predominance of Russian coastline along the sea’s basin, Moscow historically treated the body of water as a “Russian lake,” and continues to maintain the Sea of Okhotsk as a naval bastion of Russia’s Pacific Ocean Fleet. Due to its low salinity from the Amur River’s discharge, the sea is prone to freezing in the winter. The sea is of particular importance to Russia’s fishing industry, and beginning in the 1990s, Russia sought to ban commercial fishing in certain areas of the sea, creating disputes with China, Poland, and other states. The seabed was recently discovered to contain approximately 3.5 billion tons of hydrocarbons.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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