Kola Bay: past, present, interesting facts


2018-11-22 09:00:29




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The coastline of the Kola Peninsula were assimilated Finno-Ugric tribes in the stone age. After the baptism of Russia to this land came to Novgorod colonists, who were engaged in the fishery and marine mammals and fisheries. On the shore appeared a Russian village. In the 17-19-th centuries the population of the Peninsula lived mainly on reindeer breeding and fishery production (industrial scale). And only at the beginning of the 20th century the Kola Bay was recognized as strategically (and not just cost!) important. Here was founded the seaport – now the largest in the Arctic Circle.

bridge across the Kola Bay

Geographical position

The Bay Is on the Murmansk coast of the Kola Peninsula. It owes its name to the settlement of the stake that occurred on the same river, presumably in the 11th century. A detailed description of the Bay was made by Mikhail Frantsevich Reineke, Director of the hydrographic expedition, exploring the Northern sea border of the Russian Empire in 1826.

Kola Bay is a classic fjord, narrow (from 200 m to 7 km) and long (about 57 km). It is divided into three tribes, each of which has different depth. The two main rivers flowing into the Bay are the Tuloma and Kola. The coast is indented with numerous coves (the Catherine harbour, Tyuva, Pollock). The area abounds in small Islands. The port of Murmansk and the closed city of Severomorsk is located on the Eastern shore of the Bay is steep and rocky. On a gentle, Western, port is Polar. The banks are connected by a road bridge.

Kola Bay Murmansk


The Kola Bay has one important feature: in winter, the water does not freeze even if air temperature is below -20 OS. In the Bay is always warmer than on the continent, and the difference can be quite significant. This phenomenon is caused by the warm current, but not by the Gulf stream, as is commonly thought, and its extension-the North Atlantic (North Cape current). Of course, the banks of the water freezes, but the fairway is always free of ice. That's why Bay has such strategic importance. The Northern sea route was badly needed in Russia during the First world war: it provided communication with the allies.


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The Bay was thoroughly frozen up to five times in the entire history of observations. Last time this happened recently – January 2015. Increasing the area and thickness of ice (up to 10-15 cm in lips and shallow bays) was caused by prolonged high. In the southern bend of the Bay was observed drifting ice up to 5 cm thick.

The Bridge across the Kola Bay

Kola Bay photo

Ten years ago was inaugurated a road bridge across the Bay with a length of 2.5 km (of which above water is 1.6 km). He is considered one of the longest in Russia and in the Arctic at all. The construction has not only economic but also social significance. The bridge links the Western regions of Murmansk to Central, simplify travel within the region and promotes active cooperation with the Scandinavian neighbors. It has four lanes and is designed for pedestrians. In the fall of 2014, the building was renovated.

Kola Bay, Murmansk: area sports

In a few years the bridge had some interesting traditions associated with it. In addition, it has become a platform for various sporting and entertainment events. There is a regular programme of competition in paintball and Cycling in the summer, in June, from the left shore of the Bay along the bridge kicks off extreme race, to participate in which attracts swimmers and runners from across the country and from neighbouring States.

It Should be noted that even in summer the Kola Bay is not too hospitable: the water temperature does not exceed +8 OC, and a hot swimming costumes at the event is prohibited. Extreme adds and a strong side current. So, “Murmansk mile” is a serious challenge for aquaserv (athletes, specializing in swimming in cold water). It requires good health, stamina and a long special training.


tides in the Kola Bay

In 1803, on the Murmansk coast was organized by the so-called white sea mining company fish. The Bay has long been famous for its abundance. Were performed here and the sea beast. At present, the resources of the Bay were largely depleted due to environmental problems and mass fishing. However, there remain good opportunities for river and sea fishing. The target of fisheries in the Gulf area are such species as haddock, cod, flounder, Pollock and herring. Found a crab. At the mouths of rivers you can catch trout, char, whitefish, grayling, perch and pike.

But for river fishing (as for the production of crab), a license is required. In addition, it is important to remember that the success of fishing is influenced by semi-diurnal tides of the Kola Bay. According to reyneke, they are very noticeable and reach four meters. Many anglers prefer to earn one in the mouths of rivers because they are less polluted than the Bay itself.

Environmental issues

The mining companies and the oil industry continue to impact negatively on the KolaBay. Photo its shores often make depressing impression everywhere are piled with rusty frames and the ruins of factories, has long ceased to work. The port of Murmansk remains one of the most polluted areas of continental shelf.

Kola Bay

In other parts of the Gulf, the situation is slightly better, but the concentration of hydrocarbons, iron and copper exceeds allowable and is the cause of the diseases of the local population. Currently, environmentalists urged the management to ensure that conservation measures and equipment upgrades.

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