Aurean Straits

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Aurean Straits
Aureanstraits.png
LocationSolarian SeaGulf of Assonaire
Coordinates28°30′N 6°20′E (Western strait) and 28°30′N 6°60′E (Eastern strait)
TypeStrait
Managing agencyAurean Forum
Min. width4.9 kilometres (3.0 mi) (western strait)
4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) (eastern strait)
Average depth38 metres (125 ft)

The Aurean Straits are a pair of narrow natural channels at the narrowest point between the continents of Euclea and Coius. They lie to either side of the island city-state of Montecara and border Florena on the Euclean side and Tsabara on the Coian side. The Straits lie in the three countries’ territorial waters but are open to all traffic under the principle of transit passage.

Definition and extent

Hydrographically, the Community of Nations Commission for Maritime Boundaries defines the Straits as follows:

The two bodies of water connecting the Solarian Sea to the south with the Gulf of Assonaire to the north; the extent of the western strait being between one line connecting the southwestern extremity of the main island of Montecara and the southeastern extremity of the XX Peninsula of Florena and another line connecting the northwestern extremity of the main island of Montecara and the northeastern extremity of Cape XX of Florena; the extent of the eastern strait being between one line connecting Pònto da Galàna and Point XX and another line connecting Cape Gansìn and Point XX.

Ship traffic

The Straits are the most-trafficked shipping route in the world. In 2017 nearly 92,000 ships transited the straits, an average of approximately one ship every six minutes year-round.

Crossings

The Western channel tunnel is a rail connection between Montecara and the Euclean mainland via Florena.

Oil and gas pipelines run from Tsabara underneath Montecara to Euclea.

Governance

The Aurean Forum is the regional intergovernmental organization responsible for the administration of the Straits. Its mandates include navigation, fisheries, the protection of the natural environment, and the extraction of seabed resources.

Illegal migration

A trilingual warning sign of the type posted by the Montecaran government along the Eastern strait

The Eastern strait is a focal point for illegal migration from Coius to Euclea. The area is heavily patrolled by the Montecaran Dragòni and Navy, which regularly interdict boats of migrants attempting to land on Montecaran or Florean soil.

Immigration, legal and otherwise, is a major political issue in Montecara and the state is under serious pressure by citizens to crack down on attempts to enter the state without authorization. This has sometimes resulted in controversies when the Montecaran uniformed services have been especially heavy-handed in their enforcement of immigration law.

Montecaran policy is to, when possible, interdict migrants on the sea. They are taken aboard Montecaran ships where they are questioned as to their place of origin and reasons for migrating, have their personal information recorded, and are photographed and fingerprinted. Those with acute medical conditions are treated aboard ship when possible. They are then returned to the Tsabaran coast, generally far from Montecara in order to deter future attempts to cross the Straits. Their boats are seized and destroyed.