Bering Sea

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Coordinates: 58°0′N 178°0′W / 58°N 178°W / 58; -178

Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean

The Bering Sea is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean.[1][2] It has a deep water basin, which then rises through a narrow slope into the shallower water above the continental shelves.

The Bering Sea is separated from the Gulf of Alaska by the Alaska Peninsula. It covers over two million square kilometers, bordered on the east and northeast by Alaska, on the west by Russia's Siberia and Kamchatka Peninsula, on the south by the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands and on the far north by the Bering Strait. The Strait connects the Bering Sea to the Arctic Ocean's Chukchi Sea. Bristol Bay is the part of the Bering Sea which separates the Alaska Peninsula from mainland Alaska. The Bering Sea is named for Vitus Bering, a Danish navigator in Russian service, who in 1728 was the first European to systematically explore it.

The Bering Sea ecosystem includes resources belonging to the United States and Russia, as well as international waters in the middle of the sea[3].

History[change | change source]

Most scientists believe that during the most recent ice age, sea level was low enough to let humans and other animals move on foot from Asia to North America across what is now the Bering Strait. This is commonly called the "Bering land bridge" and is believed by some—though not all— to be the first point of entry of humans into the Americas.

Islands[change | change source]

Islands of the Bering Sea include:

Regions[change | change source]

Regions of the Bering Sea include:

The Bering Sea has 16 submarine canyons including the largest submarine canyon in the world, Zhemchug Canyon.

Biodiversity[change | change source]

The Bering Sea is home to some of the world's most interesting wildlife. This sea supports many endangered whale species including Bowhead Whale, Blue Whale, Fin Whale, Sei Whale, Humpback Whale, Sperm Whale and the rarest in the world, the North Pacific Right Whale. Other marine mammals include walrus, Steller Sea Lion, Northern Fur Seal, Beluga, Orca and polar bear.

The Bering Sea is very important to the seabirds of the world. Over 30 species of seabirds and about 20 million individuals breed in the Bering Sea region. Seabird species include Tufted Puffins, the endangered Short-tailed Albatross, Spectacled Eider, and Red-legged Kittiwakes.

Two Bering Sea species, the Steller's Sea Cow and Spectacled Cormorant, are extinct because of overexploitation by man. In addition, a small subspecies of Canada goose, the Bering Canada goose is extinct due to overhunting and introduction of rats to their breeding islands.

The Bering Sea supports many species of fish. At least 419 species of fish have been reported from the Bering Sea. Some species of fish support large and valuable commercial fisheries. Commercial fish species include 6 species of Pacific Salmon, Alaska Pollock, Red King Crab, Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, Yellowfin Sole, Pacific ocean perch and sablefish.

References[change | change source]

  1. M. J. R. Fasham (2003). Ocean biogeochemistry: the role of the ocean carbon cycle in global change. Springer. p. 79. ISBN 978-3-540-42398-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=3c_vFxn2Z8kC&pg=PA79. Retrieved 29 November 2010.
  2. McColl, R.W. (2005). Encyclopedia of World Geography. Infobase Publishing. p. 697. ISBN 978-0-8160-5786-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=DJgnebGbAB8C&pg=PA697. Retrieved 26 November 2010.
  3. "North Pacific Overfishing (DONUT)". Trade Environment Database. American University. http://www1.american.edu/ted/donut.htm. Retrieved 13 August 2011.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Bering Sea at Wikimedia Commons