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Strait of Kerch

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Kerch Strait. View from the Crimean coast
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Kerch Strait. View from the Crimean coast

The Kerch Strait (in Russian, Керченский пролив) connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, separating the Crimea 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.

Ferry transportation across the strait was established in 1952, connecting the 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. Train-ferries became old in the late 1980s and were removed from operation. In autumn of 2004 new ships were delivered as replacements and train transportation has been re-established.

Several attempts have been made to build a bridge across the Kerch Strait to replace the ferry, but 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.

In ancient times the Kerch Strait was known as the Cimmerian Bosporus; it is also known by its Tatar name, Yenikale.ru:Керченский пролив de:Strae von Kertsch et:Kertši vin ja:ケルチ海峡 nl:Straat van Kertsj pt:Estreito de Kerch

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