Sea of Azov

The Sea of ​​Azov (Ukrainian Азовське море, Russian Азовское море, in ancient times also Palus Maeotis or Maiotis ) is a marginal sea of the Black Sea and is connected to it by the Kerch Strait. The city of Azov at the mouth of the Don 's name to the inland sea.


The area is 37,600 km ² with about 70 times as large as Lake Constance, the maximum depth is but only 14 m. With this, and with only 8 meters average depth of water is the Sea of ​​Azov Sea the slimmest of the earth, whereby water temperature can be reached in the summer without another 25 to 30 ° C, during which time it can freeze over 2-4 months during the winter. This was, however, already since the 1970s because of the general rise in water temperatures no longer the case. The salinity averages 11 ‰, in the northern parts, it takes only 2 to 4 ‰.

The main tributaries are the Don and the Kuban. Due to their permanent freshwater inflow, maintain a relatively low salt content, which is only a quarter of salinity in the Black Sea. This phenomenon was recognized by the Greek historian Polybius ( 2nd century BC) in his History (Book IV.40 -42).

Islands and peninsulas

  • Berdjanskaja kosa
  • Birjutschii
  • Crimea
  • Obitotchnaja kosa
  • Taman peninsula


Countries bordering the Ukraine in the west and Russia in the east. The Crimean peninsula and the Taman peninsula separating the Sea of ​​Azov from the Black Sea, with which it is connected by the Kerch Strait. The western end of the sea forms the Sywasch, a shallow, saline system of bays and lakes.


On the Sea of ​​Azov are the port cities Berdyansk, Mariupol, Taganrog and ( something Don - up) Rostov-on- Don, Azov, and the city (on the Don estuary ), which owes its name to the sea.


The climate on the Azov Sea is temperate continental. While temperatures in January is 0-6 ° C, reaching values ​​of 23.5 to 24.5 in July ° C. The average annual yearly temperature is around 9-11 ° C. The annual rainfall can vary 220-500 mm. In winter, heavy frosts, thaw and fog weather conditions follow each other often. During the period from late December to early March is on the north bank a permanent ice sheet.


Because of the high nutrient and oxygen transfer across the rivers and the good mixing of the water, accompanied by a strong warming observed in the Sea of ​​Azov, a rich animal and plant life. Also the high plankton and Benthosgehalt contributes to this diversity. Up to about 350 species of invertebrates and about 80 different species of fish observed in the fauna of the Azov Sea, including perch, bream, minnows, whitefish, bullhead, herring, carp, mackerel, mullet, sea bream, roach, flounder and sturgeon. Particularly common are anchovies and sardines. Numerous fish species are freshwater fish, saltwater fish are mostly immigrants from the Mediterranean. In the hard times after the Second World War to supply the population of this rich fish stock was particularly important, however, was greatly reduced by the predatory fish such as sturgeon and perch.


Even on a Phoenician - Hebrew map of the world from the 7th century BC the Sea of ​​Azov can be found, under the name " Meat". The fish-rich waters was known in Greece by the voyages of the Milesians and Ionians; it made ​​colony -ups, for example, in Pantikapaion and Phanagoreia. The Greek name was palus Maiotis limne, the Latin Maeotis. The Greek historian Polybius discussed at length in his History (Book IV.39 -40), the cause of the silting of the sea. In the Middle Ages the term Chasarisches sea was common. The areas around the Sea of ​​Azov can look back on an eventful past, because not only the Greeks established colonies; also very different peoples, such as the Avars, the Bulgarians, the Huns or the Goths moved into the period of migration from the third to the ninth century through here. About 300 years the area was under Turkish rule until 1783 then went over the entire coast of the Azov Sea to the Russian Empire.


The very rich fish stock is in addition to tourism an important economic factor for the residents dar. Because of its flat sandy beaches and warm, dry summer, the Sea of ​​Azov with families with children popular. Hotels and sanatoriums with medicinal applications are important pillars of tourism.


As the Don is connected by channels across the Volga with the Caspian Sea, Baltic Sea and the White Sea, the Sea of ​​Azov is an important link for shipping towards the black sea as over the Kerch Strait there is ferry transport, after an interruption from 1993 to 2004 again for railway vehicles.