Moneron Island

Moneron Island

Moneron Island is located in the Tatar Strait southwest of Sakhalin Island at the northeastern end of the Sea of Japan. It is the first marine natural park in Russia. The island is a popular place for diving and for birds. Korean Air Flight 007 crashed into the sea about 55 kilometers from Moneron Island on September 1, 1983, after it was shot down. The Boeing 747 Jumbo jet had flown five minutes at 16,242 ft. altitude until it was directly over Moneron Island where it began its 3 minute spiral descent. See here for photo of Moneron and transcript of Soviet attack with references to Moneron.

Surrounded by steep cliffs and rocky islets, it is a haven for sea birds. The warm Tsushima Current brings abundant marine life to the surrounding waters and species normally found much further south abound.

It was known as Totomoshiri to its original Ainu inhabitants. It came under the daimyo of Matsumae in the eighteenth century and got its current European name from a visit of the French navigator La Perouse who named it Moneron after one of his engineers. Latterly, the Japanese named it Kaibato but it reverted to its European name after Japan's defeat in World War II and its occupation by Russia.

At lat. 46 16N, long. 141 15E, it has an area of about 30 km² and a highest point of 429m. It has no permanent population.


  • Sakhalin Travel Group Diving Center -

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