The Info List - Celtic Sea

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The Celtic Sea
(Irish: An Mhuir Cheilteach; Welsh: Y Môr Celtaidd; Cornish: An Mor Keltek; Breton: Ar Mor Keltiek; French: La mer Celtique) is the area of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
off the south coast of Ireland
bounded to the east by Saint George's Channel;[1] other limits include the Bristol Channel, the English Channel, and the Bay of Biscay, as well as adjacent portions of Wales, Cornwall, Devon, and Brittany. The southern and western boundaries are delimited by the continental shelf, which drops away sharply. The Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
are an archipelago of small islands in the sea.


1 History 2 Limits 3 Seabed 4 Ecology of the Celtic Sea 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

History[edit] The Celtic Sea
takes its name from the Celtic heritage of the bounding lands to the north and east.[2] The name was first proposed by E.W.L. Holt at a 1921 meeting in Dublin
of fisheries experts from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and France.[2] The northern portion of this sea had previously been considered as part of Saint George's Channel and the southern portion as an undifferentiated part of the "Southwest Approaches" to Great Britain. The need for a common name came to be felt because of the common marine biology, geology and hydrology.[2] It was adopted in France
before being common in the English-speaking countries;[2] in 1957 Édouard Le Danois wrote, "the name Celtic Sea is hardly known even to oceanographers."[3] It was adopted by marine biologists and oceanographers, and later by petroleum exploration firms.[4] It is named in a 1963 British atlas,[5] but a 1972 article states "what British maps call the Western Approaches, and what the oil industry calls the Celtic Sea
[...] certainly the residents on the western coast [of Great Britain] don't refer to it as such."[6] Limits[edit] There are no land features to divide the Celtic Sea
from the open Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
to the south and west. For these limits, Holt suggested the 200-fathom (370 m; 1,200 ft) marine contour and the island of Ushant
off the tip of Brittany. The definition approved by 1974 by the UK Hydrographer of the Navy
Hydrographer of the Navy
for use in Admiralty
Charts was "bounded roughly by lines joining Ushant, Land's End, Hartland Point, Lundy Island, St. Govan's Head
St. Govan's Head
and Rosslare, thence following the Irish coast south to Mizen Head
Mizen Head
and then along the 200-metre isobath to approximately the latitude of Ushant."[7] The International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization
defines the limits of the Celtic Sea
as follows:[8]

On the North. The Southern limit of the Irish Sea
[a line joining St David's Head to Carnsore Point], the South coast of Ireland, thence from Mizen Head
Mizen Head
a line drawn to a position 51°0′N 11°30′W / 51.000°N 11.500°W / 51.000; -11.500. On the West and South. A line from the position 51°0′N 11°30′W / 51.000°N 11.500°W / 51.000; -11.500 South to 49°N, thence to latitude 46°30'N on the Western limit of the Bay of Biscay [a line joining Cape Ortegal
Cape Ortegal
to Penmarch Point], thence along that line to Penmarch Point. On the East. The Western limit of the English Channel
English Channel
[a line joining Île Vierge
Île Vierge
to Land's End] and the Western limit of the Bristol Channel [a line joining Hartland Point
Hartland Point
to St. Govan's Head].

Seabed[edit] The seabed under the Celtic Sea
is called the Celtic Shelf, part of the continental shelf of Europe. The northeast portion has a depth of between 90 and 100 m (300–330 ft), increasing towards Saint George's Channel. In the opposite direction, sand ridges pointing southwest have a similar height, separated by troughs approximately 50 m (160 ft) deeper. These ridges were formed by tidal effects when the sea level was lower. South of 50°N the topography is more irregular.[9] Oil and gas exploration in the Celtic Sea
has had limited commercial success. The Kinsale Head gas field supplied much of the Republic of Ireland
in the 1980s and 1990s. Ecology of the Celtic Sea[edit] The Celtic Sea
has a rich fishery with total annual catches of 1.8 million tonnes as of 2007.[10] Four cetacean species occur frequently in the area: minke whale, bottlenose dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin and harbor porpoise.[11] Formerly it held an abundance of marine mammals.[12][13] See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Celtic Sea.

Irish Conservation Box


^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Celtic Sea. eds. P.saundry & C.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the /environment. Washington DC. ^ a b c d Haslam, D. W. (Hydrographer of the Royal Navy) (29 March 1976). "It's the Celtic Sea—official". The Times
The Times
(59665). p. 15 (Letters to the Editor), col G.  ^ Danois, Edouard Le (1957). Marine Life of Coastal Waters: Western Europe. Harrap. p. 12.  ^ Cooper, L. H. N. (2 February 1972). "In Celtic waters". The Times (58391). p. 20; col G (Letters to the Editor).  ^ The Atlas of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland. Clarendon Press. 1963. pp. 20–21. ; cited in Shergold, Vernon G. (27 January 1972). "Celtic Sea: a good name". The Times (58386). p. 20 (Letters to the Editor); col G.  ^ Vielvoye, Roger (24 January 1972). "Industry in the regions Striking oil in Wales
and West Country". The Times
The Times
(58383). p. 19; col A.  ^ "Celtic Sea". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 883. House of Commons. 16 December 1974. col. 317W.  ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition + corrections" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1971. p. 42 [corrections to page 13]. Retrieved 6 February 2010.  ^ Hardisty, Jack (1990). The British Seas: an introduction to the oceanography and resources of the north-west European continental shelf. Taylor & Francis. pp. 20–21. ISBN 0-415-03586-4.  ^ European Union. "Celtic Seas". European Atlas of the Seas. Archived from the original on 24 July 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.  ^ Hammond, P.S.; Northridge, S.P.; Thompson, D.; Gordon, J.C.D. (2008). "1 Background information on marine mammals for Strategic Environmental Assessment 8" (PDF). Sea
Mammal Research Unit. Retrieved 13 March 2015.  ^ Van Deinse, A.B.; Junge, G. C. A. (1936). "Recent and older finds of the California grey whale in the Atlantic". Temminckia. 2: 161–88.  ^ Fraser, F.C. (1936). "Report on cetacea stranded on the British Coasts from 1927 to 1932". British Museum (Natural History) No. 11, London, UK. 

External links[edit]

Coccoliths in the Celtic Sea
 : a bloom of phytoplankton in the Celtic Sea, visible from outer space in an MISR image, 4 June 2001

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