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The World’s Major Enclosed Coastal Seas

The Environmental Management of Enclosed Coastal Seas Protecting Our Coastal Seas for Future Generations

The World’s Major Enclosed Coastal Seas

In many parts of the world there are bodies of sea water that are almost entirely enclosed by land. These bodies of water are called enclosed coastal seas. Examples include the Mediterranean Sea, the Baltic Sea, Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Thailand, the Bo Hai in northern China and, in Japan, the Seto Inland Sea, Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay. Since ancient times, enclosed coastal seas have been known for their great scenic beauty. Their outstanding natural attributes have spurred the development of transportation networks and many types of industry in the ocean and coastal regions, and they have been the setting for cultural and recreational activities throughout the ages. But man’s activities have exceeded the natural ability of the seas to cleanse themselves, giving rise to problems of pollution in the world’s enclosed coastal seas such as eutrophication, “red tides” and “blue tides”. We must work to preserve these priceless natural treasures if we are to pass them onto future generations.

Major Enclosed Coastal Seas of the World

  1. Chesapeake Bay(11,603km2,6.4m)
  2. San Francisco Bay(1,040km2,6m)
  3. Gulf of Mexico(1,592,800km2,1,486m)
  4. Mediterranean Sea(2,536,000km2,>5,150m)
  5. North Sea(575,200km2,94m)
  6. Baltic Sea(422,200km2,55m)
  7. Persian Sea(233,000km2,35m)
  8. Gulf of Thailand(320,000km2,45m)
  9. Bohai Sea(77,284km2,26m)
  10. Seto Inland Sea(23,203km2,38m)
  11. Black Sea(508,000km2,1,240m)
  12. Puget Sound(2,600km2,>300m)
  13. Hudson Bay(1,232,300km2,128m)
  14. Gulf of California(153,000km2,1,200m)
  15. Caribbean Sea(2,718,200km2,2,647m)
  16. Red Sea(438,000km2,491m)
  17. Bay of Bengal(2,173,000km2,2,600m)
  18. South China Sea(2,319,000km2,1,652m)
  19. Yellow Sea(466,200km2,40m)
  20. East China Sea(735,800km2,175m)
  21. Sea of Japan(978,000km2,1,752m)

※area, average depth, > maximum depth

Environmental Guidebook on the Enclosed Coastal Seas of the World(9MB/PDF)