Gulf of Aden

The Gulf of Aden is the funnel-shaped sea Gulf between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian peninsula, and thus between Africa and Asia. At it borders the states of Yemen, Djibouti and northern Somalia (or the de facto independent Somaliland and the autonomous region of Puntland ). In addition to the name -giving port of Aden in Yemen Djibouti City, Berbera and Boosaaso other major ports in the Gulf.


The Gulf represents the eastward which bends and the Indian Ocean continued opening of the Red Sea, with which it is connected via the 27 km wide strait of Bab al Mandab -. He is also the northeastern continuation of the Great African grave breach. As a special feature, a fraction of its water and thus of the ocean to the west flows to the Lake Assal in Djibouti lying about underground drains.

Off the Somali coast at Zeila are the Zeila Islands. Slightly east of Ostausgangs the Gulf of Aden is the belonging to Yemen Socotra archipelago.

The Gulf of Aden is surrounded by high mountains or hills. Not far from its southern coast of Shimbiris located in Somalia in the eastern Somali highlands ( 2,416 m), north of the Gulf, this is in Yemen Jabal Tamar ( 2514 m above sea level. NN ).

Seen tectonically the Gulf is between the African and Arabian plate. He not only separates the two continents mentioned above, but also two peninsulas - the Somali Peninsula and the Arabian Peninsula.

In ancient times it was called sine Aualites.


The Gulf of Aden is up to 1,000 km long and 150-440 km wide. Its eastern boundary is a straight line between the Cape Guardafui in Somalia and the Cape Fartak in Yemen. In the West he is up to 874 m and 3,478 m deep in the middle. In the east it passes into the open Indian Ocean, where the sea drops already on 5029 m sea depth.

Marine and Piracy

All shipping routes from Europe to the Indian Ocean through the Gulf of Aden. For shipping to the Gulf has the same meaning as the Suez Canal.

The countries bordering Yemen and Somalia are very poor, politically unstable countries and are considered as ' failed states '. According dangerous the entire region. The Foreign Office has therefore issued a travel warning for all countries.

The Gulf of Aden is grouped with the Bab al - Mandab to the areas that are most affected by piracy worldwide (see also: piracy off the Somali coast ). The German Navy is committed together with their allies in the actions Enduring Freedom and Atalanta, which is to fight frigates locally against terrorism, arms smuggling and piracy. The operations center is in Djibouti.