Shelikhov Gulf

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Location of the Shelikhov Gulf in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Shelikhov Gulf (Russian: залив Шелихова) is a large gulf off the northwestern coast of Kamchatka, Russia. It is located in the northeastern corner of the Sea of Okhotsk and it branches into two main arms, Gizhigin Bay to the west and Penzhina Bay to the east. Its southwest corner is formed by the P'yagin Peninsula, Yam Gulf and the Yamsky Islands.

It is named after Russian explorer Grigory Shelikhov.

Shelikhov Gulf should not be confused with much smaller Shelikhov Bay (Bukhta Shelikhova, 50.3764N, 155.62E), which is also in the Sea of Okhotsk on the northwestern coast of Paramushir Island.


Shelikhov Gulf was frequented by American whaleships hunting bowhead and gray whales between 1849 and 1874. They called it Northeast Gulf.[1] They also traded with the natives for fish and reindeer.[2] On 11 August 1867, the barque Stella (270 tons), of New Bedford, Capt. Ebenezer F. Nye, was wrecked on Krayny in the northeastern arm of the gulf. Two men were killed as the barque was smashed to pieces on the rocks. The rest of the crew were split among several vessels.[3][4][5]


In the spring and summer beluga whales aggregate in the bays and estuaries at the head of Shelikhov Gulf to feed on spawning herring, smelt, and salmon.[6] In the spring bowhead whales can also be seen in the gulf.[7]


  1. ^ Mary and Susan, of Stonington, July 18-Aug. 8, 1849, Nicholson Whaling Collection (NWC); Abraham Barker, of New Bedford, June 10-July 17, 1856, NWC; Florida, of Fairhaven, July 7-Sep. 5, 1861 (Williams, One Whaling Family [1964], pp. 186-198); Josephine, of New Bedford, June 9-July 15, 1865, June 9–26, 1866, Kendall Whaling Museum; Java, of New Bedford, June 14–19, 1867, NWC; Sea Breeze, of New Bedford, May-Sep. 1868, Old Dartmouth Historical Society (ODHS); Arnolda, of New Bedford, June-Aug. 1874, ODHS.
  2. ^ Sea Breeze, of New Bedford, Aug. 18, 1866, May 25, 1868, ODHS.
  3. ^ Sea Breeze, of New Bedford, Aug. 15, 1867, ODHS.
  4. ^ Whalemen's Shipping List and Merchants' Transcript (Vol. XXV, No. 35, Oct. 29, 1867, New Bedford).
  5. ^ Starbuck, Alexander (1878). History of the American Whale Fishery from Its Earliest Inception to the year 1876. Castle. ISBN 1-55521-537-8. 
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Moore, S. E., and R. R. Reeves (1993). "Distribution and Movement". In Burns, J. J.; Montague, J. J.; and Cowles, C. J. The Bowhead Whale. Special Publication No. 2: The Society for Marine Mammalogy.

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Coordinates: 59°45′N 158°00′E / 59.75°N 158°E / 59.75; 158