Definitions

Okhotsk

Okhotsk

[oh-kotsk; Russ. uh-khawtsk]
Okhotsk, Sea of, Rus. Okhotskoye More, 590,000 sq mi (1,528,100 sq km), northwest arm of the Pacific Ocean, W of the Kamchatka peninsula and the Kuril Islands. It is connected with the Sea of Japan by the Tatar and La Pérouse straits and with the Pacific Ocean by passages through the Kuril Islands. The sea is generally less than 5,000 ft (1,524 m) deep; its deepest point, near the Kuriles, is 11,033 ft (3,363 m). The sea is icebound from November to June and has frequent heavy fogs. Fishing and crabbing are carried on off W Kamchatka peninsula. Magadan, on the mainland, and Korsakov, on Sakhalin, are the largest ports.

Arm of the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Bounded by the Siberian coast, the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Kuril Islands, Hokkaido, and Sakhalin Island, it covers 611,000 sq mi (1,580,000 sq km). It connects the ports of the Russian Far East. Ice floes impede navigation in winter, and dense fog is a hindrance during the summer.

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Arm of the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Bounded by the Siberian coast, the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Kuril Islands, Hokkaido, and Sakhalin Island, it covers 611,000 sq mi (1,580,000 sq km). It connects the ports of the Russian Far East. Ice floes impede navigation in winter, and dense fog is a hindrance during the summer.

Learn more about Okhotsk, Sea of with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Okhotsk (Охо́тск) is an urban-type settlement and a seaport at the mouth of the Okhota River on the Sea of Okhotsk, in Khabarovsk Krai, Russia.

Okhotsk was the first Russian settlement on the Pacific Coast. It was established as a wintering camp in 1643 by the Cossacks under Semyon Shelkovnikov. The fort of Kosoi Ostrozhok was constructed in 1649. In 1718 Kozma Sokolov built the first vessel in Okhotsk and embarked upon a voyage to Kamchatka. This route became so popular with Russian navigators that by 1731 Okhotsk had been firmly established as the foremost Russian seaport on the Pacific.

At various points in its history, Okhotsk was a centre for the Russian-American Fishing and Fur-Trading activities. It is known for being the headquarters for the explorer Vitus Bering, who sailed from here for two extraordinary expeditions, discovering the Bering Strait on one and Alaska on the other. The Portuguese Jew Anton de Vieira was the town's governor at that time.

The growth of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky dislodged Okhotsk from its leading commercial position in the early 19th century, although it remained important as the base of the Siberian military flotilla, a predecessor of the Russian Pacific Fleet. In 1812 the town was moved to a new site across the Okhota River. It was of some military importance during the Russian Civil War, when the White army generals Vasily Rakitin and Anatoly Pepelyayev used it as their place of arms in the Far East.

The importance and population of the townlet sharply declined following the demise of the Soviet Union. Population: 5,500 (2004 est.); 5,738 (2002 Census); 9,298 (1989 Census).

Transportation

Okhotsk Airport serves Okhotsk.

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