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 off the south coast of
Ireland bounded to the east by Saint George's Channel; 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.
4 Ecology of the Celtic Sea
5 See also
7 External links
Sea takes its name from the Celtic heritage of the bounding
lands to the north and east. 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. 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.
It was adopted in
France before being common in the English-speaking
countries; in 1957
Édouard Le Danois wrote, "the name Celtic Sea
is hardly known even to oceanographers." It was adopted by marine
biologists and oceanographers, and later by petroleum exploration
firms. It is named in a 1963 British atlas, 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."
There are no land features to divide the Celtic
Sea from the open
Atlantic Ocean to the south and west. For these limits, Holt suggested
the 200-fathom (370 m; 1,200 ft) marine contour and the
Ushant off the tip of Brittany.
The definition approved by 1974 by the UK
Hydrographer of the Navy
Hydrographer of the Navy for
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 and
then along the 200-metre isobath to approximately the latitude of
International Hydrographic Organization
International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the
Sea as follows:
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
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 to Penmarch Point], thence along
that line to Penmarch Point.
On the East. The Western limit of the
English Channel [a line joining
Île Vierge to Land's End] and the Western limit of the Bristol
Channel [a line joining
Hartland Point to St. Govan's Head].
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.
Oil and gas exploration in the Celtic
Sea has had limited commercial
Kinsale Head gas field supplied much of the Republic of
Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s.
Ecology of the Celtic Sea
Sea has a rich fishery with total annual catches of 1.8
million tonnes as of 2007.
Four cetacean species occur frequently in the area: minke whale,
bottlenose dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin and harbor
porpoise. Formerly it held an abundance of marine mammals.
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 (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 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
Wales and West Country".
The Times (58383). p. 19; col
^ "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.
^ 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:
^ Fraser, F.C. (1936). "Report on cetacea stranded on the British
Coasts from 1927 to 1932". British Museum (Natural History) No. 11,
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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