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Map of the White Sea
Two satellite photos of the White Sea

The White Sea ( , ) is an inlet of the Barents Seamarker on the northwest coast of Russiamarker. It is surrounded by Kareliamarker to the west, the Kola peninsulamarker to the north, and the Kanin Peninsulamarker to the northeast.

The important port of Arkhangelskmarker is located on the White Sea. For much of Russia's history this was Russia's main centre of international maritime trade, conducted by the so-called Pomors ("seaside settlers") from Kholmogorymarker. In the modern era it became an important Sovietmarker naval and submarine base. The White Sea-Baltic Canalmarker connects the White Sea with the Baltic Seamarker.

The whole of the White Sea is under Russian sovereignty and considered to be internal waters of Russia.

There are four main bays and gulfs in the White Sea. From west to east, they are the Kandalaksha Gulfmarker, the Onega Baymarker, the Dvina Baymarker, and the Mezen Baymarker.

The White Sea is one of four seas named in English after common color terms — the others being the Black Seamarker, the Red Seamarker and the Yellow Seamarker.


The White Sea has a very large number of islands, but most of them are small. The main island group in the White Sea is the Solovetsky Islandsmarker, located almost in its middle. Kiy Islandmarker in Onega Bay is significant due to a historic monastery. Velikiy Island, located close to the shore, is the largest island in the Kandalaksha Gulfmarker.


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