Yellow Sea | WWF

Yellow Sea

About the Area

The semi-enclosed Yellow (Huanghai) Sea is located between China and Korea and is one of the largest shallow areas of continental shelf in the world.
The Yellow Sea depression has depths in the range of 70 - 80 meters and provides the major overwintering ground for numerous species of fish and invertebrates.

Although warm currents are present, the water becomes cold and rough during monsoons and some sections turn into ice fields in the winter. The sea's surface temperature can change as much as 10º C from one season to the next, and salinity levels often fluctuate.

Local Species
The ecoregion is home to several species such as the Dugong (Dugong dugon), Trepang (Apostychopus japonicus), Abaloni (Haliotis sp.), Dall's (Phocoenoides dalli), Gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus), Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Among the numerous species of fish found here are the Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii), Chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus), and the newly discovered species of Pleurosicya sp. (Family, Gobiidae).

Industrial pollution, agricultural runoff, and domestic sewage contaminate coastal waters and habitats. Pollutants include contaminants ranging from organic chemicals (PCBs and DDT) to tar and heavy metals.

Contaminants such as these can degrade slowly and may work their way up the food chain all the way to humans, where they can accumulate in dangerous amounts. In addition, the building of dams and the diversion of water threaten the flow of sediments and nutrients.



Habitat type:
Temperate Shelf and Seas

Geographic Location:
Western Pacific Ocean between China and the Korean Peninsula

Conservation Status:

Quiz Time!

Why is the Yellow sea so called?

The large rivers that flow into the Yellow Sea carry so much mineral-rich soil that the water actually turns yellow!

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