Strait of Kerch
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- Cimmerian Bosporus redirects here. For the ancient state, see Bosporan Kingdom; for its rulers, see Kings of Cimmerian Bosporus.
The Kerch Strait (Russian: Керченский пролив, Ukrainian: Керченська протока, Crimean Tatar: Kerç boğazı) connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, separating the Crimean Kerch Peninsula in the west from the Taman peninsula in the east. The strait is 4.5 to 15 km (3-11 mi) wide and up to 18 meters deep. The most important harbor is the city of Kerch.
In antiquity, the strait was known as the Cimmerian Bosporus (Latin: Bosporus Cimmerius). The Cimmerians (Cimmerii) were the ancient inhabitants who gave their name to a strait that reminded the Greeks of the more familiar Bosporus that separates Thrace from Asia at Byzantium. During the Hellenistic period, the strait separated two halves of the Bosporan Kingdom (which takes its name from the strait).
The straits are about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) long and 4 kilometres broad at the narrowest, and are formed by an eastern extension of Crimea (Taurica, in ancient times) and the peninsula of Taman, a kind of continuation of the Caucasus. This in ancient times seems to have formed a group of islands intersected by arms of the Kuban River (Hypanis) and various sounds now silted up.
Ferry transportation across the strait was established in 1952, connecting Crimea and the Krasnodar Krai (Port Krym - Port Kavkaz line). Originally there were four train-ferry ships; later three car-ferry ships were added. Train transportation continued for almost 40 years. aging train-ferries became obsolete in the late 1980s and were removed from operation. In the autumn of 2004 new ships were delivered as replacements and train transportation has been re-established.
The Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov campaigned for a bridge to be constructed across the strait, but these plans were stalled following the Tuzla Island conflict. Furthermore, the difficult geological configuration of the area makes bridge projects too expensive.
Several fish-processing plants are located on the Crimean coast of the strait. Fishing season begins in late autumn and lasts for 2-3 months, when many seiners put out into the strait to fish.
This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.ar:مضيق كيرتش cs:Kerčský průliv de:Straße von Kertsch et:Kertši väin es:Estrecho de Kerch fa:تنگه کرچ gl:Estreito de Kerch ko:케르치 해협 nl:Straat van Kertsj ja:ケルチ海峡 pl:Cieśnina Kerczeńska pt:Estreito de Kerch ro:Strâmtoarea Kerci ru:Керченский пролив sk:Kerčský prieliv vi:Eo biển Kerch