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Strait of Tartary

The nutient-rich Strait of Tartary sits between the Sea of Okhotsk to the north and the Sea of Japan to the south.

Phytoplankton algae blooms off the coast of the island of Sakhalin make the Sea of Okhotsk one of the world's richest biological ecosystems. River drainage, intense intermingling of waters through the Strait of Tartary and wind driven mixing, and the upwelling of deep, nutrient-laden ocean waters make this area highly favorable to marine life. Some of the commercially important fish stocks that are found in the sea include cod, capelin, flounder, herring, pollack, salmon, and smelts.

Numerous whales visit this sea coast, including the critically endangered Western Pacific gray whale, for which the coast of Sakhalin is the only known feeding ground. Other endangered whale species known to occur in this area are the North Pacific right whale, the bowhead whale, and the beluga whale.

The Sea of Okhotsk is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean,and may be defined as a division of an ocean that is partially surrounded by archipelagos, islands, or peninsulas and is generally much shallower than the open oceans.

Download a zoomed-out image of the Strait of Tartary to see it's impact on a larger geographical area and it's surrounding waters.