Tugur Bay

Tugur Bay or Tugursky Bay[1] (Russian: тугурский залив, Tugursky Zaliv) is a large bay in the Tuguro-Chumikansky District of Khabarovsk Krai, Russian Federation.[2]

Tugur Bay
Shantar Bay
Location of Tugur Bay south of the Shantar Islands
Tugur Bay
Location in Khabarovsk Krai
LocationRussian Far East
Coordinates54°10′N 137°00′E
Native nameтугурский залив
River sourcesTugur River, Karol River
Ocean/sea sourcesSea of Okhotsk
Basin countriesRussia
Max. length80.5 km (50.0 mi)
Max. width58 km (36 mi)
Surface area1,800 km2 (690 sq mi)
Average depth25 m (82 ft)

Currently there is a project to build a tidal power station in Tugur Bay.[3]


Tugur Bay is located in the northwestern Sea of Okhotsk, just south of the Shantar Islands. It is entered between Seneka Point and Cape Bol'shoy Dugandzha, nearly 58 km (about 36 mi) to the west-northwest. It narrows to about 19.3 km (12 mi) midway and is about 80.5 km (50 mi) deep in a south-southwesterly direction. The Tugur River runs into its head. The east and south side of the bay is thickly wooded.

Mamga Bay is a branch of Tugur Bay located on the northwestern side of the bay. On the eastern side of the bay are two prominent capes, Cape Bersen'yeva to the north and Cape Temnyy further south.

There is ice in the bay from the end of October or the middle of November to July. Spring tides rise 4.5 to 5.5 m (14.75 to 18 ft) in the northern part of the bay and up to 6.4 m (21 ft) in the southern part. Tidal currents can reach up to four knots in the northern part of Tugur Bay, causing whirlpools and eddies. The bay is 18 to 37 m (59 to 121.4 ft) deep at its entrance, but shoals to less than 3.6 m (11.8 ft) at its head.[4][5]


American, French, and Russian whaleships frequented the bay hunting bowhead whales between 1852 and 1905. They called it Shantar Bay.[6][7][8][9] Some traded with the natives for salmon.[10] On 28 July 1854, the bark Isabella, of New Bedford, reported that as many as 94 ships were visible from her deck while she was in the bay, only five of which were boiling oil.[11] Several ships were wrecked in the bay. On 13 July 1854, the ship Silas Richards (454 tons), of New Bedford, Capt. Wilcox, was driven ashore by ice and wrecked on the east side of the bay near Cape Bersen'yeva. She was sold on the beach for $194.[12][13][14] In June 1856, the brig Tarquina (210 tons), of Honolulu, was also stove by ice and lost,[15] while the bark Columbus (344 tons), of New London, was wrecked in the bay on 10 August 1858.[16][17] On 27 July 1867, a Russian steamer ordered the bark Java, of New Bedford, under Manuel Enos, out of the bay. A few days later the bark Endeavor, also of New Bedford, had its boats fired upon by the same vessel before being ordered away as well.[18] In August 1885, a Russian steamer once again forbid American whaleships in the bay from whaling.[19]

Two whaling stations were also established in the bay to catch bowheads. The first was built in 1862 by the Russian-American Company on the southeastern point of Mamga Bay. In 1865, they sold it to Otto Wilhelm Lindholm, who had erected a station on the eastern side of the mouth of the Tugur River at the head of the bay two years earlier, in 1863. Both stations either utilized one or two schooners or boat crews provisioned for a fortnight at a time to cruise for whales in Tugur Bay or adjacent bays. The Tugur station was last used in 1870, while Mamga was used as a base for whaling until 1876.[20] American whaleships visited Mamga to sell goods and receive repairs from ice damage.[21]


Bowhead whales, once abundant, are now rare in Tugur Bay.[22] In the summer beluga whales aggregate at the head of the bay to feed on spawning salmon in the Tugur River estuary.[23] Waders use the intertidal area at the head of the bay as a stopover during their summer-fall migration. The two most abundant species are Great knot and Terek sandpiper.[24]


  1. Dzyuban, AN (2003): Phytoplankton and bacterial productivity in the Tugur Bay (Sea of Okhotsk) in July-August 1990.
  2. "Tugursky Zaliv". Mapcarta. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  3. Ставка на энергию воды. Дальневосточный капитал № 6, 2009 г.
  4. United States. (1918). Asiatic Pilot, Volume 1: East coast of Siberia, Sakhalin Island and Chosen. Washington: Hydrographic Office.
  5. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. (2014). Sailing Directions (Enroute): East Coast of Russia. U.S. Government, Springfield, Virginia.
  6. Junior, of New Bedford, July 5, 1852. In Sampson, A. D. (1867). Three times around the world, or life and adventures of Alonzo D. Sampson. Buffalo, N. Y.: Express Printing Company.
  7. Lexington, of Nantucket, July 9, 1854, Nantucket Historical Association; Java, of New Bedford, July 22–26, 1865, June 30-Aug. 27, 1866, July 17–24, 1867, Nicholson Whaling Collection (NWC); Arnolda, of New Bedford, Aug. 27-Sept. 7, 1874, Old Dartmouth Historical Society; Mary and Helen II, of San Francisco, Aug. 12-13, Aug. 15-17, 1885, Kendall Whaling Museum (KWM).
  8. Turku, of Turku, summer 1854; Storfursten Constantin, of Helsinki, June 1859. In Lindholm, O. V., Haes, T. A., & Tyrtoff, D. N. (2008). Beyond the frontiers of imperial Russia: From the memoirs of Otto W. Lindholm. Javea, Spain: A. de Haes OWL Publishing.
  9. San Francisco Call (Vol. 98, No. 169, Nov. 16, 1905).
  10. Golconda, of New Bedford, Aug. 18-20, 1854, KWM.
  11. Isabella, of New Bedford, July 28, 1854, NWC.
  12. "Loss of ship Silas Richards", Whalemen's Shipping List & Merchant's Transcript, New Bedford, October 31, 1854, p. 266.
  13. The Friend (Honolulu, December 8, 1854, Vol. XI, No. 12, p. 93).
  14. Golconda, of New Bedford, July 13, 1854, KWM.
  15. Thrum, T. G. (1909). Hawaiian almanac and annual for 1910. Honolulu, Black & Auld, Printers.
  16. Rambler, of New Bedford, Aug. 21, 1858, KWM.
  17. Starbuck, Alexander (1878). History of the American Whale Fishery from Its Earliest Inception to the year 1876. Castle. ISBN 1-55521-537-8.
  18. United States. (1870). Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States. Washington: G.P.O.
  19. Mary and Helen II, of San Francisco, Aug. 15, 1885, KWM.
  20. Lindholm, O. V., Haes, T. A., & Tyrtoff, D. N. (2008). Beyond the frontiers of imperial Russia: From the memoirs of Otto W. Lindholm. Javea, Spain: A. de Haes OWL Publishing.
  21. Java, of New Bedford, June 30-July 1, July 10, Sep. 15-16, 1866, KWM.
  22. Shpak, O. V., Meschersky, I. G., Chichkina, A. N., Kuznetsova, D. M., Paramonov, A. Y., & V. V. Rozhnov. (2014). "New data on the Okhotsk Sea bowhead whales". Paper presented to the Scientific Committee of IWC 65. 5 pp.
  23. Solovyev, B. A., Shpak, O. V., Glazov, D. M., Rozhnov, V. V., & D. M. Kuznetsova. (2015). "Summer distribution of beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in the Sea of Okhotsk". Russian J. Theriol. 14 (2): 201-215.
  24. Pronkevich, V. V. (1998). "Migration of waders in the Khabarovsk region of the Far East". International Wader Studies 10: 425-430.
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