This article belongs to the lore of Esquarium.

Gulf of Gelyevich

Gulf of Gelyevich
  • Γαλήνιο κόλπο (Argilian)
  • Tündük tüpsüz (Batış)
  • Gelveç Tüpüsz (Kara)
  • Заливът и Гелиевич (Katranjian)
  • Zaliv Gelyeviča (Luziycan)
  • Пеихои (Namorese)
  • ᠪᠠᠷᠠᠭᠤᠨ ᠳᠠᠯᠢ
    (Tsorigtol)
Thomas Point Lighthouse Chesapeake Bay.jpg
Lighthouse near the Luziycan coast
TypeGulf
Primary inflowsvarious
Ocean/sea sourcesCentral Ocean
Basin countriesLuziyca, Namor, Katranjiev, Kheratia, Volghar
Settlements

The Gulf of Gelyevich is a gulf located in central Borea, separating West Borea from East Borea, and connecting the south-central region of Borea to the Central Ocean. The Gulf of Gelyevich is part of the Central Borean Rift Valley, which includes not only the Gulf of Gelyevich, but also includes the (TBC) highlands and lowlands in central Borea, and the Belizaliv Gulf that empties out into the Hyperborean Ocean.

The Gulf of Gelyevich has traditionally been considered a boundary separating the Monic civilizations of East Borea and the Argilian and Slavic civilizations of West Borea. However, because of its traditional perception as a boundary between the two sides, it ends up serving as a transition area where the influences of one region bleeds with one another, enabling the creation of ethnic groups who were neither fully Monic nor Argilio-Slavic.

Historically, the Gulf of Gelyevich has been a significant point of international trade in Esquarium, as the Golden Spice Road enabled trade from East Borea to travel into West Borea, and vice-versa. As a consequence of its strategic position within Borea, the Gulf of Gelyevich has been a site of discord and disputes, historically over fishing rights and control of the Strait of Akri, but in the 20th century, these disputes escalated over the development of hydrocarbons in the Gulf.

However, since the 1980s, the geopolitical situation in the Gulf of Gelyevich has improved, especially as a result of blossoming Namo-Luziycan relations, which culminated in the creation of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission in 1993 to regulate activities in the Gulf in order to protect the environment of the Gulf while promoting development of the Gulf's natural resources. Despite some lingering tensions, especially between Namor and Luziyca, the Gulf of Gelyevich is a relatively stable region in Esquarium.

Etymology

It is believed by scholars that the name of the gulf was first recorded as the Γαλήνιο κόλπο (Galínio kólpo, lit. serene gulf) in the Argilian language. When Slavs first arrived into the area surrounding the gulf, their first recorded name for the gulf was Galya zaliv, but by the 1200s, the term Zaliva Galyavich first entered use, initially referring to the inlet leading into Vetpei in present-day Shanpei (now the present day TBC inlet), thus making it a true "son of the Serene Gulf," but the name was eventually applied to the entire gulf as a result of increasing access to the area by outsiders.

The term Zaliva Gelyevich was believed to have originated as a dialectal feature in present-day Riro among Argilians who adopted what would become the Katranjian language, but it was first recorded in 1443. Many believe that it was a typo, but as a result of the prevalence of the "e" dialect in many of the trading ports on the northern shores of the gulf, by the early 1600s, Gelyevich became more prevalent than Galyavich.

Peihoi (Пеихои, 北海), meaning "northern sea," is the official Namorese name for the gulf. The name has its roots in Namorese mythology, where Riro and his followers are believed to have crossed the gulf to reach the promised land of Txotai.

The official Tsorigtol name is Baruun Dai (ᠪᠠᠷᠠᠭᠤᠨ ᠳᠠᠯᠢ; Syodongmun: 西海), literally meaning "western ocean" but has come to mean "western sea." The name originates when the expanding Narai Khaanate first arrived in the area in the late 6th century, interpreting the gulf as the Central Ocean, believed they had reached the sea.

History

trade, invasions by states and peoples, more trade, yadda yadda yadda

Definition

The conventional definition of the Gulf of Gelyevich, widely used among oceanographers, is that the Gulf is connected to the Central Ocean through the Strait of Akri, which also connect the (TBC inlet), and comprises of all saline waters within the area, including the northern inlets near Kheratia and (TBC).

However, according to the Lizhou Accords which established the Gelyevich Gulf Commission in 1993, the legal definition of its southern limit (with the Central Ocean) are defined as follows:

The southern boundary of the Gulf of Gelyevich shall be a straight line from Pingan, Namor, to Solomon in the southernmost part of West Borea currently under Namorese administration.

Geography

The Gulf of Gelyevich forms part of the Central Borean Rift Valley, which includes the (TBC) highlands and lowlands to the north of the Gulf, and the Belizaliv Gulf further north.

The average depth of the Gulf of Gelyevich is forty meters (40 m) below the surface, with the deepest point being 68 meters beneath the surface near the Strait of Akri. However, the further north one goes in the Gulf, the shallower the Gulf of Gelyevich becomes, reducing the ability of heavy ships to go beyond Arra and Ranggang, although even in the shallower regions, most medium-sized ships can be able to traverse the entire gulf up to the two northern inlets.

Flora and fauna

A view of a blue shark, 2011

The Gulf of Gelyevich and its surrounding area is home to a number of species that either stay in the bay year-round, or migrate into the bay through the Strait of Akri, or else through the various rivers that feed into the Gulf of Gelyevich. Over 500 species of fish and sharks have historically inhabited the area, such as the common sturgeon, the sea bass, herring, and the blue shark. In addition, species of oysters have also inhabited the area, namely the Gulf oyster. Other aquatic species include the common lobster and the Gulf eel.

Notable avian species that are concentrated around the Gulf of Gelyevich include the bald eagle, the imperial eagle, and ospreys. However, as the Gulf provides a lot of food for birds, and is situated in the paths of many migrating bird species, it is not uncommon to see a wide array of birds from across Borea stop in the general region.

The common eelgrass is the most common submerged aquatic vegetation in the Gulf of Gelyevich. Besides the common eelgrass and other seagrassess, other flora present around the gulf include wild rice, spartina, and common reeds.

However, as a consequence of both overfishing and environmental damages caused by both industrialization of the Gulf countries and war, the biodiversity of the Gulf of Gelyevich has declined, with the common sturgeon currently considered a critically endangered species.

Economy

Fisheries

Fishing boats in Haruki, Katranjiev, 2007

Traditionally, fisheries have been a major part of the local economy among nations in the Gulf of Gelyevich. For centuries, fishermen in the basin countries have used the waters of the Gulf of Gelyevich to fish, especially the sea bass, the haddock the common sturgeon, and the common lobster on the western shores of the Gulf, and (TBC) on the eastern shores of the Gulf.

With the advent of industrialization in the Gulf countries, increased application of technologies enabled the expansion of local fisheries, especially among Luziycan communities and businesses who were more able to afford these technologies, thereby giving them a competitive edge over Namorese, Katranjian, and other fishing boats. As a result, the catch of the common sturgeon exploded, as these technologies, combined with the growing affluence of Luziyca and Katranjiev as a whole meant that there was more demand for fish such as the common sturgeon, which is used in caviar, while the local variety of haddock became a "working man's lunch" on the western shores of the Gulf. With increased technological progress in the 1940s and 1950s, fish yields continued to increase, especially in Luziyca.

The amount of fish caught in the Gulf of Gelyevich peaked in 1964, with fish catches in the Gulf by Luziycan-registered ships peaking at 762,144 tons (691,405 metric tonnes) that year, compared to an estimate of 135,000 tons (122,470 metric tonnes) in the entire gulf in 1764. While yields began to decline slightly, the situation at the time was not critical, with Luziycan catches often over 500,000 tons (453,592 metric tonnes) through the 1960s, and into 1970.

However, during the Third Namo-Luziycan War in 1971, attacks on offshore oil rigs by both sides would lead to severe oil spills, causing damage to the fishing industry in the Gulf, as well as environmental damage. As a consequence, fisheries in the lower parts of the Gulf were closed while both governments cleaned up the spills from the War. Even after the fisheries reopened, fish yields were low, with yields caught by Luziycan fishermen between 1974 and 1989 at 454,022 tons (441,884 metric tonnes), compared to 7.2 million tons (6.5 million metric tonnes) from 1956 to 1971.

Since the 1990s, the Gelyevich Gulf Commission has regulated fisheries within the Gulf of Gelyevich in an effort to balance between the needs of consumers and fishermen within the Gulf, while ensuring that the fish stocks not only recover from the centuries of overfishing but also prevent any species from becoming extirpated from the Gulf, if not become extinct altogether.

Hydrocarbons

Ships and oil rigs in the Gulf of Gelyevich, 2002

As a result of its location in the Central Borean Rift Valley, the Gulf of Gelyevich is home to a plethora of natural resources. One of the main natural resources found in the area are oil and natural gas, with the Gulf of Gelyevich believed to be one of the largest oil reserves in Esquarium.

Since the discovery of oil in the Gulf in (late 1880s-early 1910s), the Gulf of Gelyevich has been a major center for production of petroleum and natural gas in Esquarium. Despite it being a major center for production of oil and natural gas, it has often been a site of tensions due to historic poor relations between Namor and Luziyca, which has historically hindered the ability of the Gulf to be exploited to its full potential.

However, since the normalization of Namo-Luziycan relations in 1990, and the creation of the Gelyevich Gulf Commission in 1993, oil and natural gas production has increased dramatically, especially in Luziyca. While production has decreased slightly in recent years due to a growing adoption of renewable technologies, the oil reserves in the Gulf have become increasingly attractive due to the political instability in eastern Nautasia with the rise of The Caliphate and the Union of Nautasian Islamic Republics in the 2010s.

As of 2016, the Gulf of Gelyevich has (maybe 100-300 billion) barrels of hydrocarbons in proven reserves according to the Geleyevich Gulf Commission.

International trade

Cargo ship near Limani, 2015

As several countries (Katranjiev, Kheratia, Luziyca, Namor, and Volghar) have a coastline on the Gulf of Gelyevich, with both Namor and Luziyca being the two largest economies in Esquarium, a lot of maritime shipping goes through the Gulf of Gelyevich, especially to the port cities of Kusef, Licho and Arra in Namor, Ishikul and Limani in Luziyca, Yichun in Katranjiev, (TBC) in Kheratia, and (TBC) in Volghar.

Since the blossoming the hydrocarbon industry in the Gulf in the 1990s, a growing number of oil tankers and LNG carriers go through the Strait of Akri into the Gulf, mostly to ship the petroleum and natural gas from the Gulf to other countries and continents within Esquarium. However, the bulk of the shipping still remains dominated by container ships, transporting goods to and from other countries within Esquarium.

The growth in the amount of shipping traffic going through the Strait of Akri and into the Gulf has raised concerns of adverse effects of international trade on the Gulf's ecosystem, especially with hazardous cargo often being shipped from ports in the Gulf to other regions, and vice-versa, that if lost could cause severe damage to the environment of the Gulf. In a ten year period from 1996 to 2006, there have been seventy-two oil spills recorded by the Gelyevich Gulf Commission: while none caused any long-term damage to the local environment, there are concerns that the cumulative effects of increased shipping can damage the local environment of the Gulf beyond its ability to recover.

In addition, since the mid-20th century, tunnels under the Gulf of Gelyevich, such as the Namorese Kaltan-Shanpei Tunnel, opened in 1964 and connecting Txotai with mainland Namor, have helped improve connectivity between the western and eastern shores of the Gulf of Gelyevich, thereby bringing down costs for trade between West Borea and East Borea.