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Coordinates: 58°0′N 178°0′W / 58.000°N 178.000°W / 58.000; -178.000

Bering Sea

Map showing the location of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
with latitude and longitude zones of the Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system

The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
(Russian: Бе́рингово мо́ре, tr. Béringovo móre) is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean.[1][2] It comprises a deep water basin, which then rises through a narrow slope into the shallower water above the continental shelves. The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
is separated from the Gulf of Alaska
Gulf of Alaska
by the Alaska Peninsula. It covers over 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi) and is bordered on the east and northeast by Alaska, on the west by Russian Far East
Russian Far East
and the Kamchatka Peninsula, on the south by the Alaska Peninsula
Alaska Peninsula
and the Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
and on the far north by the Bering Strait, which connects the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
to the Arctic Ocean's Chukchi Sea. Bristol Bay
Bristol Bay
is the portion of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
which separates the Alaska Peninsula
Alaska Peninsula
from mainland Alaska. The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
is named for Vitus Bering, a Danish navigator in Russian service, who in 1728 was the first European to systematically explore it, sailing from the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
northward to the Arctic Ocean.[citation needed] The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
ecosystem includes resources within the jurisdiction of the United States and Russia, as well as international waters in the middle of the sea (known as the "Donut Hole"[3]). The interaction between currents, sea ice, and weather makes for a vigorous and productive ecosystem.

In the top-right corner of the image is Alaska’s mainland blanketed with snow, as well as Nunivak Island. At the centre of the image are the islands of Saint Paul and Saint George – part of the Pribilof Islands.

Satellite photo of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
Alaska
Alaska
is on the top right, Siberia
Siberia
on the top left

Bering Sea
Bering Sea
in the North Pacific Ocean

Contents

1 History 2 Geography

2.1 Extent 2.2 Islands 2.3 Regions

3 Ecosystem 4 Biodiversity 5 Fisheries 6 Change 7 In media 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] Most scientists believe that during the most recent ice age, sea level was low enough to allow humans to migrate east on foot from Asia
Asia
to North America
North America
across what is now the Bering Strait. Other animals including megafauna migrated in both directions. This is commonly referred to as the "Bering land bridge" and is believed by most, though not all scientists, to be the first point of entry of humans into the Americas. There is a small portion of the Kula Plate
Kula Plate
in the Bering Sea. The Kula Plate is an ancient tectonic plate that used to subduct under Alaska.[4] Geography[edit]

Bering Sea
Bering Sea
showing the larger of the submarine canyons that cut the margin

Extent[edit] The International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
defines the limits of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
as follows:[5]

On the North. The Southern limit of the Chuckchi Sea [sic] [The Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
between Siberia
Siberia
and Alaska].

On the South. A line running from Kabuch Point (54°48′N 163°21′W / 54.800°N 163.350°W / 54.800; -163.350) in the Alaskan Peninsula, through the Aleutian Islands
Aleutian Islands
to the South extremes of the Komandorski Islands and on to Cape Kamchatka in such a way that all the narrow waters between Alaska
Alaska
and Kamchatka are included in the Bering Sea.

Islands[edit] Islands of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
include:

Pribilof Islands, including St. Paul Island Komandorski Islands, including Bering Island St. Lawrence Island Diomede Islands King Island St. Matthew Island Karaginsky Island Nunivak Island Sledge Island Hagemeister Island

Regions[edit] Regions of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
include:

Bering Strait Bristol Bay Gulf of Anadyr Norton Sound

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

The Russian "Rurik" sets anchor near Saint Paul Island in the Bering sea in order to load food and equipment for the expedition to the Chukchi sea in the north. Drawing by Louis Choris
Louis Choris
in 1817.

Walrus
Walrus
(Odobenus rosmarus divergens), hauled out on Bering Sea
Bering Sea
ice, Alaska, June 1978. (Source: NOAA)

Snailfish, a non-commercial fish, caught in the eastern Bering Sea

Red king crab

Aerial view of Tutakoke Bird Camp on the coast of the Bering Sea, south of Hooper Bay

Ecosystem[edit] The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
shelf break is the dominant driver of primary productivity in the Bering Sea.[6] This zone, where the shallower continental shelf drops off into the North Aleutians Basin is also known as the “Greenbelt”. Nutrient upwelling from the cold waters of the Aleutian basin flowing up the slope and mixing with shallower waters of the shelf provide for constant production of phytoplankton. The second driver of productivity in the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
is seasonal sea ice that, in part, triggers the spring phytoplankton bloom. Seasonal melting of sea ice causes an influx of lower salinity water into the middle and other shelf areas, causing stratification and hydrographic effects which influence productivity.[7] In addition to the hydrographic and productivity influence of melting sea ice, the ice itself also provides an attachment substrate for the growth of algae as well as interstitial ice algae. Some evidence suggests that great changes to the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
ecosystem have already occurred. Warm water conditions in the summer of 1997 resulted in a massive bloom of low energy coccolithophorid phytoplankton (Stockwell et al. 2001). A long record of carbon isotopes, which is reflective of primary production trends of the Bering Sea, exists from historical samples of bowhead whale baleen.[8] Trends in carbon isotope ratios in whale baleen samples suggest that a 30–40% decline in average seasonal primary productivity has occurred over the last 50 years.[8] The implication is that the carrying capacity of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
is much lower now than it has been in the past. Biodiversity[edit] The sea supports many whale species including the beluga, humpback whale, bowhead whale, gray whale and blue whale, the vulnerable sperm whale, and the endangered fin whale, sei whale and the rarest in the world, the North Pacific right whale. Other marine mammals include walrus, Steller sea lion, northern fur seal, orca and polar bear. The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
is very important to the seabirds of the world. Over 30 species of seabirds and approximately 20 million individuals breed in the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
region. Seabird species include tufted puffins, the endangered short-tailed albatross, spectacled eider, and red-legged kittiwakes. Many of these species are unique to the area, which provides highly productive foraging habitat, particularly along the shelf edge and in other nutrient-rich upwelling regions, such as the Pribilof, Zhemchug, and Pervenets canyons. The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
is also home to colonies of crested auklets, with upwards of a million individuals. Two Bering Sea
Bering Sea
species, the Steller's sea cow
Steller's sea cow
(Hydrodamalis gigas) and spectacled cormorant (Phalacrocorax perspicillatus), are extinct because of overexploitation by man. In addition, a small subspecies of Canada goose, the Bering Canada goose (Branta canadensis asiatica) is extinct due to overhunting and introduction of rats to their breeding islands. The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
supports many species of fish. Some species of fish support large and valuable commercial fisheries. Commercial fish species include 6 species of Pacific salmon, Alaska
Alaska
pollock, Pacific cod, Pacific halibut, yellowfin sole, Pacific ocean perch
Pacific ocean perch
and sablefish. Shellfish include red king crab and Chionoecetes. Fish biodiversity is high, and at least 419 species of fish have been reported from the Bering Sea. Fisheries[edit] The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
is world-renowned for its enormously productive and profitable fisheries, such as king crab,[9] opilio and tanner crabs, Bristol Bay
Bristol Bay
salmon, pollock and other groundfish.[10] These fisheries rely on the productivity of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
via a complicated and little understood food web. The continued existence of these fisheries requires an intact, healthy, and productive ecosystem. Commercial fishing is big business in the Bering Sea, which is relied upon by the largest seafood companies in the world to produce fish and shellfish. On the U.S. side, commercial fisheries catch approximately $1 billion worth of seafood annually, while Russian Bering Sea fisheries are worth approximately $600 million annually. The Bering Sea
Bering Sea
also serves as the central location of the Alaskan king crab and opilio crab seasons, which are chronicled on the Discovery Channel television program Deadliest Catch. Landings from Alaskan waters represents half the U.S. catch of fish and shellfish. Change[edit] Because of the changes going on in the Arctic, future evolution of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
climate/ecosystem is uncertain.[11] Between 1979 and 2012 the region experienced small growth in sea ice extent, standing in contrast to the substantial loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean to the north.[12] In media[edit] The movie Harbinger Down, which was released on August 7, 2015, was about a group of grad students have booked passage on the crabbing boat Harbinger to study the effects of global warming on a pod of beluga whales in the Bering Sea.[13] One of the central characters in the 1949 movie Down to the Sea in Ships has the given name "Bering" due to having been born in a ship crossing the Bering Sea.[citation needed] See also[edit]

Bering Sea
Bering Sea
Arbitration List of seas Northern Bering Sea
Bering Sea
Climate Resilience Area Timeline of environmental events

References[edit]

^ Fasham, M. J. R. (2003). Ocean
Ocean
biogeochemistry: the role of the ocean carbon cycle in global change. Springer. p. 79. ISBN 978-3-540-42398-0.  ^ McColl, R.W. (2005). Encyclopedia of World Geography. Infobase Publishing. p. 697. ISBN 978-0-8160-5786-3. Retrieved 26 November 2010.  ^ "North Pacific Overfishing (DONUT)". Trade Environment Database. American University. Archived from the original on 9 April 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.  ^ Steinberger, Bernhard, and Carmen Gaina Geology 35 (5) 407-410, 2007 Plate-tectonic_reconstructions_predict_part_of_the_Hawaiian_hotspot_tract_to_be_preserved_in_the_Bering_Sea ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 7 February 2010.  ^ Springer, A. M.; McRoy, C. P.; Flint, M. V. (1996). "The Bering Sea Green Belt: Shelf-edge processes and ecosystem production". Fisheries Oceanography. 5 (3–4): 205. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.1996.tb00118.x.  ^ Schumacher, J. D.; Kinder, T. H.; Pashinski, D. J.; Charnell, R. L. (1979). "A Structural Front over the Continental Shelf of the Eastern Bering Sea". Journal of Physical Oceanography. 9: 79. Bibcode:1979JPO.....9...79S. doi:10.1175/1520-0485(1979)009<0079:ASFOTC>2.0.CO;2.  ^ a b Schell, D. M. (2000). "Declining carrying capacity in the Bering Sea: Isotopic evidence from whale baleen". Limnology and Oceanography. 45 (2): 459. Bibcode:2000LimOc..45..459S. doi:10.4319/lo.2000.45.2.0459.  ^ Red King Crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus
Paralithodes camtschaticus
Alaska
Alaska
Fisheries Science Center. Retrieved 2007-04-07. ^ Bering Climate. noaa.gov ^ Providing information on the present state of Arctic ecosystems and climate in historical context. arctic.noaa.gov ^ Alex DeMarban (19 February 2014). "In a warming world, Alaska's icy Bering Sea
Bering Sea
bucks the trend". Alaska
Alaska
Dispatch. Retrieved 26 September 2014.  ^ Harbinger Down
Harbinger Down
(2015)

External links[edit]

Find more aboutBering Seaat's sister projects

Definitions from Wiktionary Media from Wikimedia Commons News from Wikinews Quotations from Wikiquote Texts from Wikisource Textbooks from Wikibooks Learning resources from Wikiversity

Bering Sea
Bering Sea
Climate and Ecosystem from NOAA North Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
theme page from NOAA Groundfish fisheries and harvest, 2005 from Alaska
Alaska
Department of Fish and Game Video of research on Bering Sea Nautical Chart of the Bering Sea
Bering Sea
(Southern Part)

v t e

Islands in the Bering Sea

Adak Adugak Agattu Aiktak Akun Akutan Amak Amaknak Amatignak Amchitka Amlia Amukta Anangula Ananiuliak Arakamchechen Atka Attu Avatanak Aziak Bering Besboro Bobrof Bogoslof Buldir Carlisle Chagulak Chuginadak Chugul Derbin Egg Gareloi Great Sitkin Hagemeister Hall Hawadax Herbert Igitkin Ilak Kagalaska Kagamil Kanaga Karaginsky Kasatochi Khvostof King Kiska Koniuji Kritskoi Little Sitkin Little Tanaga Medny Nelson Nunivak Oglodak Otter Pancake Rock Poa Rootok Sagchudak Samalga Sanak Sea Lion Rock Sea Otter Rocks Sedanka Seguam Segula Semisopochnoi Shemya Sledge St. Lawrence St. Matthew St. Michael St. Paul Stuart Tagalak Tanaga Tigalda Ugamak Ulak Uliaga Umak Umnak Unalaska Unalga Unimak Walrus Walrus
Walrus
(Pribilof) Wislow Yttygran Yunaska

Island groups Aleutian Andreanof Baby Commander Delarof Diomede Fox Four Mountains Krenitzin Kudobin Near Pribilof Punuk Rat Sanak Seal Walrus Walrus
Walrus
and Kritskoi

v t e

Earth's oceans and seas

Arctic Ocean

Amundsen Gulf Barents Sea Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea East Siberian Sea Greenland Sea Gulf of Boothia Kara Sea Laptev Sea Lincoln Sea Prince Gustav Adolf Sea Pechora Sea Queen Victoria Sea Wandel Sea White Sea

Atlantic Ocean

Adriatic Sea Aegean Sea Alboran Sea Archipelago Sea Argentine Sea Baffin Bay Balearic Sea Baltic Sea Bay of Biscay Bay of Bothnia Bay of Campeche Bay of Fundy Black Sea Bothnian Sea Caribbean Sea Celtic Sea English Channel Foxe Basin Greenland Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Lion Gulf of Guinea Gulf of Maine Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Saint Lawrence Gulf of Sidra Gulf of Venezuela Hudson Bay Ionian Sea Irish Sea Irminger Sea James Bay Labrador Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Marmara Sea Mediterranean Sea Myrtoan Sea North Sea Norwegian Sea Sargasso Sea Sea of Åland Sea of Azov Sea of Crete Sea of the Hebrides Thracian Sea Tyrrhenian Sea Wadden Sea

Indian Ocean

Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bali Sea Bay of Bengal Flores Sea Great Australian Bight Gulf of Aden Gulf of Aqaba Gulf of Khambhat Gulf of Kutch Gulf of Oman Gulf of Suez Java Sea Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor Sea

Pacific Ocean

Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Coral Sea East China Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of Anadyr Gulf of California Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Fonseca Gulf of Panama Gulf of Thailand Gulf of Tonkin Halmahera Sea Koro Sea Mar de Grau Molucca Sea Moro Gulf Philippine Sea Salish Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Shantar Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Southern Ocean

Amundsen Sea Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Weddell Sea

Landlocked seas

Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Salton Sea

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 247193422 GND: 4087282-8 SELIBR: 140739 NDL: 00629

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