The IRISH SEA (Irish : _Muir Éireann / An Mhuir Mheann_, Manx : _Y Keayn Yernagh_, Scots : _Erse Sea_, Scottish Gaelic : _Muir Èireann_, Ulster-Scots : _Airish Sea_, Welsh : _Môr Iwerddon_) separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George\'s Channel , and to the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland in the north by the North Channel . Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man . The sea is occasionally, but rarely, referred to as the MANX SEA (Irish : _Muir Meann_, Manx : _Mooir Vannin_, Scottish Gaelic : _Muir Mhanainn_).
The sea is of significant economic importance to regional trade, shipping and transport, fishing, and power generation in the form of wind power and nuclear power plants . Annual traffic between Great Britain and Ireland amounts to over 12 million passengers and 17 million tonnes (17,000,000 long tons; 19,000,000 short tons) of traded goods.
* 1 Origin and topography
* 2 Shipping
* 2.1 SailRail
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Cities and towns * 3.2 Islands
* 4 Environment
* 4.1 Biodiversity * 4.2 Radioactivity
* 5 Oil and gas exploration
* 6 Proposed tunnel projects * 7 Wind power * 8 In fiction * 9 See also
* 10 References
* 10.1 Bibliography
* 11 Further reading * 12 External links
ORIGIN AND TOPOGRAPHY
The Irish Sea has undergone a series of dramatic changes over the last 20,000 years as the last glacial period ended and was replaced by warmer conditions. At the height of the glaciation the central part of the modern sea was probably a long freshwater lake. As the ice retreated 10,000 years ago the lake reconnected to the sea, becoming brackish and then fully saline once again.
_On the North._ The Southern limit of the Scottish Seas .
_On the South._ A line joining St. David\'s Head (51°54′N 5°19′W / 51.900°N 5.317°W / 51.900; -5.317 ) to Carnsore Point (52°10′N 6°22′W / 52.167°N 6.367°W / 52.167; -6.367 ).
It is connected to the North Atlantic at both its northern and southern ends. To the north, the connection is through the North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland and the Malin Sea . The southern end is linked to the Atlantic through the St George\'s Channel between south eastern Ireland and Pembrokeshire in Wales , and the Celtic Sea . The Irish Sea is composed of a deeper channel about 300 km (190 mi) long and 30–50 km (19–31 mi) wide on its western side and shallower embayments to the east. The western channel's depth ranges from 80 metres (260 ft) up to 275 m (902 ft) in the Beaufort\'s Dyke in the North Channel. The main embayments – Cardigan Bay in the south and the waters to the east of the Isle of Man – are less than 50 m (160 ft) deep. The Sea has a total water volume of 2,430 km3 (580 cu mi), 80% of which is to the west of the Isle of Man, and a surface area of 47,000 km2 (18,000 sq mi). The largest sandbanks are the Bahama and King William Banks to the east and north of the Isle of Man and the Kish Bank , Codling Bank, Arklow Bank and Blackwater Bank near the coast of Ireland. The Irish Sea, at its greatest width, is 200 km (120 mi) and narrows to 75 km (47 mi).
Unlike Great Britain, Ireland has no tunnel or bridge connection to continental Europe . Thus the vast majority of heavy goods trade is done by sea. Northern Ireland ports handle 10 million tonnes (9,800,000 long tons; 11,000,000 short tons) of goods trade with Great Britain annually, while ports in the Republic of Ireland handle 7.6 million tonnes (7,500,000 long tons; 8,400,000 short tons), representing 50% and 40% respectively of total trade by weight.
The Port of Liverpool handles 32 million tonnes (31,000,000 long tons; 35,000,000 short tons) of cargo and 734 thousand passengers a year. Holyhead port handles most of the passenger traffic from Dublin and Dún Laoghaire ports, as well as 3.3 million tonnes (3,200,000 long tons; 3,600,000 short tons) of freight.
Ports in the Republic handle 3,600,000 travellers crossing the sea each year, amounting to 92% of all Irish Sea travel. This has been steadily dropping for a number of years (20% since 1999), probably as a result of low cost airlines.
Ferry connections from Great Britain to Ireland across the Irish Sea include Fishguard and Pembroke to Rosslare , Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire, Holyhead to Dublin, Cairnryan to Belfast and Larne to Cairnryan . There is also a connection between Liverpool and Belfast via the Isle of Man or direct from Birkenhead . The world's largest car ferry , _Ulysses _, is operated by Irish Ferries on the Dublin Port– Holyhead route; Stena Line also operates between Britain and Ireland. The Port of Barrow-in-Furness , despite being one of Britain's largest shipbuilding centres and being home to the United Kingdom's only submarine -building complex, is only a minor port.
A ferry crossing used to run between Swansea and Cork , but given the geographical limits defined above, this route crosses the Celtic Sea rather than the Irish Sea.
"Irish Sea" is also the name of one of the BBC 's Shipping Forecast areas defined by the coordinates:
* 54°50′N 05°05′W / 54.833°N 5.083°W / 54.833; -5.083 * 54°45′N 05°45′W / 54.750°N 5.750°W / 54.750; -5.750 * 52°30′N 06°15′W / 52.500°N 6.250°W / 52.500; -6.250 * 52°00′N 05°05′W / 52.000°N 5.083°W / 52.000; -5.083
During World War I the Irish Sea became known as " U-boat Alley", because the U-boats moved their emphasis from the Atlantic to the Irish Sea after the United States entered the war in 1917. See also: Transport in Ireland , Transport in the United Kingdom , and Transport on the Isle of Man
The Irish Sea has coasts on the Republic of Ireland, all four constituent countries of the United Kingdom, and the Isle of Man.
CITIES AND TOWNS
Below is a list of cities and towns around the Irish Sea coasts in order of size:
RANK CITY/TOWN COUNTY REGION/PROVINCE POPULATION COUNTRY
11 Crosby Merseyside North West 51,789 England
The Irish Sea lies between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain . Listed below are islands in the Irish Sea which are over 1 km² in area, or which have a permanent population. Anglesey is almost attached to Holy Island; Holy Island is included separately.
NAME AREA (KM²) RANK (AREA) PERMANENT POPULATION RANK (POP.) COUNTRY
Holy Island 39 03 13,579 03 Wales
Lambay Island 5.54 05
Links: ------ /wiki/Irish_language /#cite_note-tearma-1 /wiki/Manx_language /#cite_note-2