Yellow Sea
Overview
 
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

, which is a marginal sea
Marginal sea
The term marginal sea has differing meanings. In one sense the term is equivalent to territorial waters. In another sense the term indicates a partially enclosed sea adjacent to or widely open to the open ocean, but bounded by submarine ridges...

 of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. It is located between mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 and the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert
The Gobi is a large desert region in Asia. It covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia. The desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the...

 sand storm
Sand Storm
Sand Storm is a 1992 action game in which you are shooting an anti-air ballistic weapon. The premise of the game is similar to that of Sabotage. You must defend your home base from planes , Patriot Missiles, and Scuds. If a missile or bomb touches the ground, some of the buildings in the base are...

s that turn the surface of the water golden yellow. In Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, the sea is sometimes called the West Sea.

The innermost bay of the Yellow Sea is called the Bohai Sea
Bohai Sea
Bohai Sea , also known as Bohai Gulf, Bohai, or Bo Hai, is the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea on the coast of Northeastern and North China. It is approximately 78,000 km2 Bohai Sea , also known as Bohai Gulf, Bohai, or Bo Hai, is the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea on the coast of...

 (previously Pechihli Bay or Chihli Bay). Into it flow both the Yellow River
Yellow River
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly known as the Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of . Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces of China and empties into...

 (through Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

 province and its capital Jinan
Jinan
Jinan is the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China. The area of present-day Jinan has played an important role in the history of the region from the earliest beginnings of civilisation and has evolved into a major national administrative, economic, and transportation hub...

) and Hai He (through Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 and Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

).
Discussions
Encyclopedia
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

, which is a marginal sea
Marginal sea
The term marginal sea has differing meanings. In one sense the term is equivalent to territorial waters. In another sense the term indicates a partially enclosed sea adjacent to or widely open to the open ocean, but bounded by submarine ridges...

 of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. It is located between mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 and the Korean Peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert
Gobi Desert
The Gobi is a large desert region in Asia. It covers parts of northern and northwestern China, and of southern Mongolia. The desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the...

 sand storm
Sand Storm
Sand Storm is a 1992 action game in which you are shooting an anti-air ballistic weapon. The premise of the game is similar to that of Sabotage. You must defend your home base from planes , Patriot Missiles, and Scuds. If a missile or bomb touches the ground, some of the buildings in the base are...

s that turn the surface of the water golden yellow. In Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, the sea is sometimes called the West Sea.

The innermost bay of the Yellow Sea is called the Bohai Sea
Bohai Sea
Bohai Sea , also known as Bohai Gulf, Bohai, or Bo Hai, is the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea on the coast of Northeastern and North China. It is approximately 78,000 km2 Bohai Sea , also known as Bohai Gulf, Bohai, or Bo Hai, is the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea on the coast of...

 (previously Pechihli Bay or Chihli Bay). Into it flow both the Yellow River
Yellow River
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly known as the Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of . Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces of China and empties into...

 (through Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

 province and its capital Jinan
Jinan
Jinan is the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China. The area of present-day Jinan has played an important role in the history of the region from the earliest beginnings of civilisation and has evolved into a major national administrative, economic, and transportation hub...

) and Hai He (through Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 and Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

). Deposits of sand
Sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...

 and silt
Silt
Silt is granular material of a size somewhere between sand and clay whose mineral origin is quartz and feldspar. Silt may occur as a soil or as suspended sediment in a surface water body...

 from those rivers contribute to the sea color.

The Yellow Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms — the others being the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

, the Red Sea
Red Sea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez...

 and the White Sea
White Sea
The White Sea is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of Russia. It is surrounded by Karelia to the west, the Kola Peninsula to the north, and the Kanin Peninsula to the northeast. The whole of the White Sea is under Russian sovereignty and considered to be part of...

.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
The International Hydrographic Organization is the inter-governmental organisation representing the hydrographic community. It enjoys observer status at the UN and is the recognised competent authority on hydrographic surveying and nautical charting...

 defines the limits of the Yellow Sea (which it also names as "Hwang Hai") as follows:

On the South. The parallel of 33°17' North from Saisyu To (Quelpart) [now known as Jeju-do
Jeju-do
Jeju-do is the only special autonomous province of South Korea, situated on and coterminous with the country's largest island. Jeju-do lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946...

] to the mainland [of China].

On the Southeast. From the Western extreme of Quelpart to Ka Nyo or West Pinnacle Island (34°13'N) in the Mengoru Group, thence to the North point of Oku To (34°22'N), to the West point of Small South Stone Island (Syo-Zyonan To) and the North point of Great South Stone Island (Zyonan To) (34°24'N) to a point on the coast of Tin To

Jindo Island
Jindo Island is the third largest island in South Korea. Together with a group of much smaller islands, it forms Jindo County.It is located in South Jeolla province, just off the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula...

 (34°25'N) along the Northwest coast of this island to the North point thereof, and thence on a line in a Northeasterly direction to the mainland of Tyosen (Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

).

Physiography

The Yellow Sea, excluding the Bohai, extends by about 960 km (596.5 mi) from north to south and about 700 km (435 mi) from east to west; it has an area of about 380000 km² (146,718.8 sq mi) and the volume of about 17,000 km3. Its depth is only 44 meters (144 ft) on average, with a maximum of 152 meters (500 ft). The sea is a flooded section of continental shelf that formed after the last ice age (some 10,000 years ago) as sea levels rose 120 meters to their current levels. The sea bottom is slowly rising toward China and more rapidly at the Korean Peninsula. The depth gradually increases from north to south. The sea bottom and shores are dominated by sand and silt brought by the rivers through the Bohai Sea (Liao River
Liao River
The Liao River is the principal river in northeast China . The province of Liaoning and the Liaodong Peninsula derive their names from the river....

, Yellow River
Yellow River
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly known as the Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of . Originating in the Bayan Har Mountains in Qinghai Province in western China, it flows through nine provinces of China and empties into...

, Hai He) and the Korea Bay (Yalu River
Yalu River
The Yalu River or the Amnok River is a river on the border between North Korea and the People's Republic of China....

). Those deposits, together with sand storms are responsible for the yellow water color and the sea name.

Major islands of the sea include Anmado
Anmado
Anmado or Anma Island is an island off the coast of South Jeolla Province , South Korea. Anmado covers an area of 6.09 km² and is home to approximately 200 residents. The landscape features several peaks: Mount Dwit , Peak Mak , and Mount Geon...

, Baengnyeong
Baengnyeong Island
Baengnyeong Island is a island in Ongjin County, Incheon, South Korea, located near the Northern Limit Line. The 1953 s:Korean Armistice Agreement which ended the Korean War specified that the five islands including Baengnyeong Island would remain under United Nations Command and South Korea...

, Daebu
Daebu Island
Daebu Island is an island in the Yellow Sea, within the municipal borders of Ansan city, Gyeonggi province. It has a population of roughly 7,114 people and an area of 41.98 km². Due to rising mudflats, the island has merged with neighbouring Seongam-do and Tan-do...

, Deokjeokdo
Deokjeokdo
Deokjeokdo or Deokjeok Island is the largest island of Deokjeok-myeon in Ongjin County, Incheon Metropolitan City, South Korea. Geographically, the island is situated 70km northwest of Incheon's Yeon'an Pier. It can be reached from the ferry terminal in [Incheon]]. It is an hour by hydrofoil from...

, Gageodo
Gageodo
Gageo-do, also known as Soheuksan-do or Little Heuksan-do due to its location near Heuksan-do, is an island in the Yellow Sea. It is within the administrative boundaries of Sinan County, Jeollanam-do, South Korea, and is connected by the Namhae Star ferry to the city of Mokpo...

, Ganghwa
Ganghwa Island
Ganghwa Island is an island in the estuary of the Han River, on the west coast of South Korea. Ganghwa Island is separated from Gimpo, on the mainland, by a narrow channel, which is spanned by two bridges. The main channel of the Han River separates the island from Gaeseong in North Korea.About...

, Hauido
Hauido
Haui-do is an island off the South Korean coast in the Yellow Sea, part of Sinan County in Jeollanam-do province. It has an area of 14.46 km² and is home to more than 1,900 people. It was the birthplace of former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung....

, Heuksando
Heuksando
Heuksando is an island in the Yellow Sea located off 97.2 km from the southwest coast of Mokpo, Jeollanam-do, South Korea. It covers an area of 19.7㎢ and consists of several peaks: Munamsan , Gitdaebong , Seonyubong , Sangrabong . It is within the administrative boundaries of Sinan County,...

, Hongdo
Hongdo
Hongdo is an island in the Yellow Sea located off 115 km from the southwest coast of Mokpo port, Jeollanam-do, South Korea. It covers an area of 6.47㎢ and consists of stiff mountain ranges, the highest peaks of which are Gitdaebong and Yangsanbong . It is within the administrative boundaries...

, Jeju-do
Jeju-do
Jeju-do is the only special autonomous province of South Korea, situated on and coterminous with the country's largest island. Jeju-do lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946...

, Jindo
Jindo Island
Jindo Island is the third largest island in South Korea. Together with a group of much smaller islands, it forms Jindo County.It is located in South Jeolla province, just off the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula...

, Modo
Modo Island
Modo Island is a small island in Ganghwa Bay, off South Korea's west coast. It is part of Bukdo myeon, Ongjin County, Incheon Metropolitan City....

, Muuido
Muuido
Muuido, also known as Muui Island, is an island in South Korea. It is a small island located south of Yongyu Island, which was joined with Yeongjong Island when the Incheon International Airport was built. Muui Island is visible from the airport...

, Sido
Sido (island)
Sido, also known as Salseom, is an island off the coast of Incheon, South Korea. It has an area of 2.46 km² and is currently inhabited by 238 residents , who mostly work as fishermen...

, Silmido
Silmido
Silmido is an uninhabited island in the Yellow Sea, off the west coast of South Korea. It has an area of about .25 km². It lies within the borders of Incheon metropolitan city, and is about 5 kilometers southwest of Incheon International Airport...

, Sindo
Sindo (island)
Sindo , also known as Jinyeom, is an island off the coast of Incheon, South Korea. Sindo covers an area of . During the Joseon Dynasty, a huge horse ranch was constructed on Sindo to suit the army's need. The landscape features several peaks, including Gubong-San...

, Wando, Yeongjong
Yeongjong Island
Yeongjong Island is an island off the west coast of the city of Incheon, South Korea. The previously separate Yongyu, Sammok, and Sinbul Islands have been joined to Yeongjong Island by an area of reclaimed land built for the construction of Incheon International Airport...

 and Yeonpyeong
Yeonpyeong
Yeonpyeong Island or Yeonpyeongdo is a group of South Korean islands in the Yellow Sea, located about west of Incheon and south of the coast of Hwanghae Province, North Korea. The main island of the group is Daeyeonpyeongdo , also referred to simply as Yeonpyeong Island, with an area of and a...

 (all in South Korea).

Climate and hydrology

The area has cold, dry winters with strong northerly monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

 blowing from late November to March. Average January temperatures are –10 °C in the north and 3 °C in the south. Summers are wet and warm with frequent typhoons between June and October. Air temperatures range between 10 and 28 °C (50–82 °F ). The average annual precipitation increases from about 500 mm (20 inches ) in the north to 1,000 mm (40 inches) in the south. Fog
Fog
Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of stratus cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated...

 is frequent along the coasts, especially in the upwelling cold-water areas.

The sea has a warm cyclone current. It is a part of the Kuroshio Current
Kuroshio Current
The Kuroshio is a north-flowing ocean current on the west side of the North Pacific Ocean. It is similar to the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic and is part of the North Pacific ocean gyre...

, which diverges near the western part of Japan and flows northward into the Yellow Sea at the speed of below 0.8 km/h (0.5 mile/h). Southward currents prevail near the sea coast, especially in the winter monsoon period.
The water temperature is close to freezing in the northern part in winter, so drift ice patches and continuous ice fields form and hinder navigation between November and March. The water temperature and salinity are homogeneous across the depth. The southern waters are warmer at 6–8 °С. In spring and summer, the upper layer is warmed up by the sun and diluted by the fresh water from rivers, while the deeper water remains cold and saline. This deep water stagnates and slowly moves south. Commercial bottom-dwelling fishes are found around this mass of water, especially at its southern part. Summer temperatures range between 22 and 28 °C (72 to 82 °F). The average salinity is relatively low, at 30 parts per thousand (‰) in the north to 33–34‰ in the south, dropping to 26‰ or lower near the river deltas. In the southwest monsoon season (June to August) the increased rainfall and runoff further reduce the salinity of the upper sea layer. Water transparency increases from about 10 meters in the north up to 45 meters in the south.

Tide
Tide
Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth....

s are semidiurnal, i.e. rise twice a day. Their amplitude varies between about 0.9 and 3 meters (3 to 10 feet) at the coast of China. Tides are higher at the Korean Peninsula, typically ranging between 4 and 8 meters (13 to 26 feet) and reaching the maximum in spring. The tidal system rotates in a counterclockwise direction. The speed of the tidal current is generally less than 1.6 km/h (1 mile/h) in the middle of the sea, but may increase to more than 5.6 km/h (3.5 mile/h) near the coasts. The fastest tides reaching 20 km/h occur in the Myeongnyang Strait between the Jindo Island
Jindo Island
Jindo Island is the third largest island in South Korea. Together with a group of much smaller islands, it forms Jindo County.It is located in South Jeolla province, just off the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula...

 and the Korean Peninsula.

The tide-related sea level variations result in a local phenomenon (a "Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 Miracle") when a land pass 2.9 km long and 10–40 meters wide opens for an hour between the Jindo
Jindo Island
Jindo Island is the third largest island in South Korea. Together with a group of much smaller islands, it forms Jindo County.It is located in South Jeolla province, just off the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula...

 and Modo islands. The event occurs approximately twice a year, at the beginning of May and in the middle of June. It had long been celebrated in a local festival called "Jindo Sea Parting Festival", but was largely unknown to the world until 1975, when the French ambassador Pierre Randi described the phenomenon in a French newspaper.

Flora and fauna

The sea is rich in seaweed (predominantly kelp
Kelp
Kelps are large seaweeds belonging to the brown algae in the order Laminariales. There are about 30 different genera....

, Laminaria japonica), cephalopod
Cephalopod
A cephalopod is any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda . These exclusively marine animals are characterized by bilateral body symmetry, a prominent head, and a set of arms or tentacles modified from the primitive molluscan foot...

s, crustacean
Crustacean
Crustaceans form a very large group of arthropods, usually treated as a subphylum, which includes such familiar animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill and barnacles. The 50,000 described species range in size from Stygotantulus stocki at , to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span...

s, shellfish
Shellfish
Shellfish is a culinary and fisheries term for exoskeleton-bearing aquatic invertebrates used as food, including various species of molluscs, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Although most kinds of shellfish are harvested from saltwater environments, some kinds are found only in freshwater...

es, clam
Clam
The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.In the United States, "clam" can be used in several different ways: one, as a general term covering all bivalve molluscs...

s, and especially in blue-green algae which bloom in summer and contribute to the water color (see image above). For example, the seaweed production in the area was as high as 1.5 million tonnes in 1979 for China alone. The abundance of all those species increases toward the south and indicates high sea productivity that accounts for the large fish production in the sea.

The southern part of the Yellow Sea, including the entire west coast of Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, contains a 10 km wide belt of intertidal mudflat
Mudflat
Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form when mud is deposited by tides or rivers. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, bayous, lagoons, and estuaries. Mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of...

s, which has the total area of 2,850 km2 and is maintained by 4–10 m tides. Those flats consist of highly productive sediments with a rich benthic fauna and are of great importance for migratory
Bird migration
Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...

 wader
Wader
Waders, called shorebirds in North America , are members of the order Charadriiformes, excluding the more marine web-footed seabird groups. The latter are the skuas , gulls , terns , skimmers , and auks...

s and shorebirds. Surveys show that the area is the single most important site for migratory birds on northward migration in the entire East Asian – Australasian Flyway, with more than 35 species occurring in internationally significant numbers. Two million birds, at minimum, pass through at the time, and about half that number use it on southward migration. About 300,000 migrating birds were transiting annually only through the Saemangeum
Saemangeum
Saemangeum is an estuarine tidal flat on the coast of the Yellow Sea in South Korea. It was dammed by the government of South Korea's Saemangeum Seawall Project, completed in April 2006, after a long fight between the government and environmental activists, and is scheduled to be converted into...

 tidal flat area. This estuary was however dam
Dam
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

med by South Korea in 1991–2006 that resulted in drying off the land.
Land reclamation also took 43% of the intertidal area in China between 1950s and 2002, and there are plans to reclaim a further 45%.

Economy

The coasts of the Yellow Sea are very densely populated, at approximately 250 people/km². The sea waters had been used for fishing by the Chinese, Korean and Japanese ships for centuries. Especially rich in fish are the bottom layers. About 200 fish species are exploited commercially, especially sea bream
Sparidae
The Sparidae is a family of fish, included in the order Perciformes. The fish of the family are commonly called sea breams and porgies . The sheepshead, scup, and red sea bream are species in this family. They are found in shallow temperate and tropical waters and are bottom-dwelling carnivores....

, croaker
Sciaenidae
Sciaenidae is a family of fish commonly called drums, croakers, or hardheads for the repetitive throbbing or drumming sounds they make...

s, lizard fishes
Synodontidae
The Lizardfishes are a family, the Synodontidae, of aulopiform fish. They are found in tropical and subtropical marine waters throughout the world....

, prawn
Prawn
Prawns are decapod crustaceans of the sub-order Dendrobranchiata. There are 540 extant species, in seven families, and a fossil record extending back to the Devonian...

s, cutlassfish
Cutlassfish
The cutlassfishes are about 40 species of predatory fish in the family Trichiuridae found in seas throughout the world. Fish of this family are long, slender, and generally steely blue or silver in colour, giving rise to their name...

, horse mackerel
Horse mackerel
A horse mackerel is a large fish, such as the tuna, and the scad or saurel of the Pacific coast:*Australian bonito *various Jack mackerels*Pilot fish...

, squid, eel
Eel
Eels are an order of fish, which consists of four suborders, 20 families, 111 genera and approximately 800 species. Most eels are predators...

, filefish
Filefish
Filefish are tropical to subtropical tetraodontiform marine fish of the diverse family Monacanthidae. Found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the filefish family contains approximately 107 species in 26 genera...

, Pacific herring
Pacific herring
The Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii, is a species of the herring family associated with the Pacific Ocean environment of North America and northeast Asia. This species is a silvery fish with unspined fins and a deeply forked caudal fin...

, chub mackerel
Chub mackerel
The chub mackerel, Scomber japonicus, also known as the Pacific mackerel or blue mackerel and sometimes referred to as a "hardhead" or "bullseye", closely resembles the Atlantic chub mackerel.-Identification:...

 and flounder
Flounder
The flounder is an ocean-dwelling flatfish species that is found in coastal lagoons and estuaries of the Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.-Taxonomy:There are a number of geographical and taxonomical species to which flounder belong.*Western Atlantic...

. The intensity of fishing has been gradually increasing for China and Korea and decreasing for Japan. For example, the production volumes for China rose from 619,000 tonnes in 1985 to 1,984,400 tonnes in 1996. All species are overfished, however, and while the total catchments are rising, the fish population is continuously declining for most species.

Navigation is another traditional activity in the Yellow Sea. The main Chinese ports are Dalian
Dalian
Dalian is a major city and seaport in the south of Liaoning province, Northeast China. It faces Shandong to the south, the Yellow Sea to the east and the Bohai Sea to the west and south. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Dalian is the southernmost city of Northeast China and China's...

, Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

, Qingdao
Qingdao
' also known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city with a population of over 8.715 million in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China. Its built up area, made of 7 urban districts plus Jimo city, is home to about 4,346,000 inhabitants in 2010.It borders Yantai to the...

 and Qinhuangdao
Qinhuangdao
Qinhuangdao is a port city in northeastern Hebei province of North China. It is about 300 km east of Beijing, on the Bohai Sea, the innermost gulf of the Yellow Sea....

. The major South Korean ports on the Yellow Sea are Incheon
Incheon
The Incheon Metropolitan City is located in northwestern South Korea. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.76 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan Metropolitan City...

, Gunsan
Gunsan
Gunsan is a city in North Jeolla Province, South Korea. It is located on the south bank of the Geum River just upstream from its exit into the Yellow Sea. Gunsan is served by frequent railway service on the Gunsan Line from Iksan. It is also connected to the Seohaean Expressway.Kunsan Air Base...

 and Mokpo
Mokpo
Mokpo is a city in South Jeolla Province, South Korea, on the southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula. Mokpo has frequent train service to Seoul and is the terminus for a number of ferry routes serving islands in the adjacent Yellow Sea...

, and that for North Korea is Nampho, the outport of Pyongyang
Pyongyang
Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

. The Bohai Train Ferry
Bohai Train Ferry
Bohai Train Ferry is a train ferry connecting Dalian, Liaoning, China, and Yantai, Shandong, over the Bohai Sea, which is the northern part of the Yellow Sea...

 provides a shortcut between the Liaodong Peninsula and Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

. A major naval accident occurred on 24 November 1999 at Yantai
Yantai
Yantai is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. Located on the southern coast of the Bohai Sea and the eastern coast of the Laizhou Bay, Yantai borders the cities of Qingdao and Weihai to the southwest and east respectively.The largest fishing...

, Shandong
Shandong
' is a Province located on the eastern coast of the People's Republic of China. Shandong has played a major role in Chinese history from the beginning of Chinese civilization along the lower reaches of the Yellow River and served as a pivotal cultural and religious site for Taoism, Chinese...

, China when the 9,000-ton Chinese ferry Dashun caught fire and capsized in rough seas. About 300 people were killed making it the worst maritime incident in China.

Oil exploration has been successful in the Chinese and North Korean portions of the sea, with the proven and estimated reserves of about 9 and 20 billion tonnes, respectively. However, the study and exploration of the sea is somewhat hindered by insufficient sharing of information between the involved countries. China initiated collaborations with foreign oil companies in 1979, but this initiative declined later.

A major oil spill occurred on 16 July 2010 when a pipeline exploded at the north-east port of Dalian
Dalian
Dalian is a major city and seaport in the south of Liaoning province, Northeast China. It faces Shandong to the south, the Yellow Sea to the east and the Bohai Sea to the west and south. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Dalian is the southernmost city of Northeast China and China's...

, causing a wide-scale fire and spreading about 1,500 tonnes of oil over the sea area of 430 km². The port had been closed and fishing suspended until the end of August. Eight hundred fishing boats and 40 specialized vessels were mobilized to relieve the environmental damage.

See also

  • Geography of China
    Geography of China
    China stretches some across the East Asian landmass bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and Vietnam in a changing configuration of broad plains, expansive deserts, and lofty mountain ranges, including vast areas of inhospitable terrain...

  • Geography of North Korea
    Geography of North Korea
    North Korea is located in east Asia on the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea shares a border with three states, including China along the Amnok River, Russia along the Duman River, and South Korea along the Korean Demilitarized Zone...

  • Geography of South Korea
    Geography of South Korea
    South Korea is located in East Asia, on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula jutting out from the far east of the Asian land mass. The only country with a land border to South Korea is North Korea, lying to the north with of border running along the DMZ. South Korea is mostly surrounded by...

  • Battle of Chemulpo Bay
    Battle of Chemulpo Bay
    The Battle of Chemulpo Bay was an early naval battle in the Russo-Japanese War , which took place on 9 February 1904, off the coast of present-day Incheon, Korea.-Background:...

  • Battle of the Yellow Sea
    Battle of the Yellow Sea
    The Battle of the Yellow Sea was a major naval engagement of the Russo-Japanese War, fought on 10 August 1904. In the Russian Navy, it was referred to as the Battle of 10 August. The battle foiled an attempt by the Russian fleet at Port Arthur to break out and form up with counterparts from...

  • Ganghwa Island incident
    Ganghwa Island incident
    The Ganghwa Island incident or the Japanese Battle of Ganghwa , was an armed encounter between the Joseon Dynasty and Japan which occurred in the vicinity of Ganghwa Island on September 20, 1875.-Background:...

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