Bay of Bristol: description, features, photo
Bay of Bristol, an area of 83 thousand square meters. km, located in the south-eastern part of the Bering Sea (the water area of the Pacific Ocean), off the south-west coast of Alaska. The northern boundary is the Cape of Newhenham, the southern one is the peninsula of Alaska and the island of Unimac, which are covered with mountains and volcanic hills.
In order to find the Bristol Bay on the mapworld, you will first need to find the mainland - North America. And already in its north-western part this water area is located. The entrance to the bay is 480 km wide. Shipping is limited, only small fishing boats can pass. The water area "cuts" deep into the mainland for 320 km. The depth is on average 27-55 meters, in the largest depression this figure increases to 84. Ocean tides on the coast are one of the highest in the world. Sometimes they exceed 10 meters. A large number of rifts and shallows makes navigation difficult, especially during strong winds and frequent fogs, which makes this area very dangerous for large ships.
Let's take a look at the history
Eleven thousand years ago, the Bristol Baythe map was much smaller. Its great present part was a land that belonged to the biogeographical region of Beringia (the land bridge between Asia and North America). At the same time, the first settlers arrived in Alaska - the ancestors of the Indians and Paleo-Asiatics. In 1778, the bay was discovered by James Cook, who named him in honor of Admiral Count Bristol. In the 1790s, temporary Russian settlements appeared on the coast, and in the first half of the 19th century search parties of the Russian-American company appeared. It was then investigated and described the coast of the bay, so that the map still retains a lot of Russian names.
If you find the Bristol Bay on the map, you canSee that nine relatively large rivers flow into it: Sinder, Nushagak, Igezhik, Kvichak and others. The mouths of most water streams and small sources are located on the low northern shore and in the depths of the water area. Rivers descend from the mountains. And in the lower reaches flow in a marshy, wooded area. The largest bays are Kvichak and Nushagak.
The largest coastal settlements are Dillingham,King Salmon and Naknek. Their total population (Indians, white and mestizo) does not exceed five thousand people. Small settlements of fishermen - Eskimos, Atabasks and Aleuts - are scattered all over the coast. The Bay of Bristol is still almost untouched by civilization. On its banks there are no river dams, hydroelectric power stations and forest felling. It is also worth noting that there are no roads here. A total of about 7,500 people live on the coast, 66% of them are Aborigines.
Animal and plant life
The Bristol Bay in North America together withthe estuaries of rivers serve as the largest spawning ground for sockeye salmon in the world, which comes for several weeks each summer in the amount of 30-40 million individuals. In addition to it, in this area spawns chum, as well as coho salmon and chinook salmon. In the rivers there are a lot of rainbow trout and grayling, eating caviar sockeye salmon. Also there is a northern pike, char and Malma. Marine mammals are represented by seals, walruses, sea otters, beluga and killer whales.
Fauna and flora of the coast are typical of transitionalzones between taiga and tundra. In the forests and marshes there are brown and black bears, beavers, porcupines, wolverines, otters, wolves, foxes, deer. There are many species of waterfowl in the reservoirs, and among the predators the largest are the bald eagle and the bald eagle.
Fisheries - the main sphere
Industry is represented by commercialfisheries and fish processing enterprises, providing 75% of jobs in the region. The four salmon species harvested here make up 40% of the industrial catch in the US and one third of all production in the waters of Alaska. The Bay of Bristol attracts a large number of fishermen-athletes (about 37 thousand people a year), the forests are hunting, and the number of tourists arriving from the national park "Katmai" located on the southern coast of the Alaska peninsula is increasing every year.
On the southern shore of the Gulf, depositsoil and gas, but their operation in 1998 was imposed a moratorium, confirmed in 2014. The most serious threat to the ecology of the Gulf is the plans of the mining consortium Pebble, who has discovered on the coast a geological anomaly, possibly including the largest gold deposit and one of the largest copper deposits on the planet. Experts estimate that the Bay of Bristol hides 40 million tons of copper, 3300 gold and 2.8 million molybdenum, which can bring in between 100 and 500 billion dollars. While the income from the salmon fishery is $ 120 million per year.
For extraction of minerals it is planned to diga giant quarry, create several dams in a seismic and dangerous area to contain toxic waste lakes, build hundreds of miles of roads and build a power station and a deep-sea port. For industrial needs, it will take almost 130 million cubic meters of water per year, which will lead to shallowing of rivers. Opponents of the development of deposits indicate that fish is a renewable resource, while mining will eventually scoop up natural reserves and destroy the local ecosystem.