Bolshoy Shantar Island

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Bolshoy Shantar
The Shantar Islands in the Sea of Okhotsk
Bolshoy Shantar Island is located in Russia
Bolshoy Shantar Island
Bolshoy Shantar Island (Russia)
Location Sea of Okhotsk
Coordinates 54°56′N 137°30′E / 54.933°N 137.500°E / 54.933; 137.500
Archipelago Shantar Islands
Area 1,766 km2 (682 sq mi)
Length 72 km (44.7 mi)
Width 49 km (30.4 mi)
Federal Subject Khabarovsk Krai

Bolshoy Shantar is an island in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia. It is the main island of the Shantar Islands. Its area is 1766 km². It is about 72 km (44.7 mi) in length and 49 km (30.4 mi) in width. It has a large brackish lake (Lake Bol'shoe) in its northern end which is connected to the sea through a narrow passage. Smelts (Hypomesus japonicus) and (H. olidus) are found on this lake.[1]

There are spruce forests on Bolshoy Shantar.[2]

Administratively this island belongs to the Khabarovsk Krai of the Russian Federation.


The Shantar Islands were explored by Russian surveyors between 1711 and 1725.[3]

Bolshoy Shantar was frequented by American whaleships between 1852 and 1874. They hunted bowhead whales, particularly in the passages that separate Bolshoy Shantar from Feklistova and Prokofyeva. They also went ashore to obtain wood and water and hunt bears and foxes.[4][5] On 17 October 1858, the bark Rajah (250 tons), of New Bedford, was wrecked on the north side of the island during a strong gale. Captain Ansel N. Stewart, the first officer, and 11 other men perished; the second mate and the twelve other crew members were saved and went aboard the ship Condor (349 tons), of New Bedford, Captain Samuel H. Whiteside.[6]

Popular culture[edit]

This island is mentioned in Grand Theft Auto IV as the location of the headquarters of a fictional Peer-to-peer Programme called Shitster (a spoof of Napster.)


  1. ^ Lake Bol'shoe
  2. ^ Taiga in the Shantarskiye Islands
  3. ^ From the History of the Great Russian Geographical Discoveries in the Arctic and Pacific Oceans in the Seventeenth and First Half of the Eighteenth Centuries. by A. V. Efimov
  4. ^ Arctic, of Fairhaven, Aug. 1852. In Gelett, C. W. (1917). A life on the ocean: Autobiography of Captain Charles Wetherby Gelett. Honolulu, Hawaii: Hawaiian Gazette Co., Ltd.
  5. ^ Harrison, of New Bedford, July 5–6, 1853, Nicholson Whaling Collection (NWC); Isabella, of New Bedford, July 8, 1854, NWC; Mary Frazier, of New Bedford, Aug. 28, 1855, NWC; Navy, of New Bedford, July 28, 1861, Kendall Whaling Museum (KWM); Cicero, of New Bedford, Aug. 30, 1863, KWM; Josephine, of New Bedford, Sep. 14, 1864, Sep. 27, 1865, KWM; Java, of New Bedford, Sep. 17–19, 1866, KWM; Sea Breeze, of New Bedford, Sep. 17, 23, 1874, G. W. Blunt White Library.
  6. ^ The Friend, Honolulu, December 8, 1858, p. 95.

Coordinates: 54°56′N 137°30′E / 54.933°N 137.500°E / 54.933; 137.500