Interesting Facts About The Iroise Sea

The Iroise Sea in Brittany, France.
The Iroise Sea in Brittany, France.

Iroise Sea is a portion of the larger Atlantic Ocean between Ile de Sein and Ushant and is located off Brittany’s coast in northwestern France. The sea is contained in the Celtic Sea and is among Europe’s most dangerous seas, especially for sea-vessels during winters when it experiences violent storms accompanied by huge waves. Iroise Sea was designated a biosphere reserve in 1988 because of the rich marine life and became the first marine park to be established in France in 2007. This article focuses on some of the interesting facts about the sea.

10. The name Iroise/Yroise has been in use since the late 17th century.

The name Iroise was first mentioned in 1693 in the “Neptune Francois” as Passage de I’Yroise. The word “passage” was used to refer to the channel. In the 18th century, the name was changed to “Passage de I’Iroise.” The portion of the Atlantic Ocean was simply called Iroise. In the 1970s, “mer d’Iroise” was used. Mer translates to “sea.” The latter name was mainly popular among the seabed explorers and may have been established not by the locals but by the naval staff at Brest. The meaning of the term “Iroise” is not quite clear with some suggesting that it means “Irish” or “angry”

9. The Iroise is known for its strong currents.

Iroise Sea is characterized by strong currents that often exceed 3 m/s. The strong currents are caused by the violent westerly and southwesterly winds. The surface currents are also affected by the swell and wind waves. The sea circulation is mainly dominated by tides and winds. The strong sea current may cause the sea to rise by 0.5 meters. The strong currents often lead to violent storms, especially during winter seasons. Thus, the Iroise Sea is popular for shipwrecks and drowning of vessels because of the strong currents.

8. The Iroise Sea is one of Europe's most dangerous seas.

The Iroise is one of the most dangerous seas in Europe, especially during winters. The sea experiences strong currents and violent storms accompanied by strong waves. The strong currents and the violent storms have led to several tragedies and loss of both lives and ships. Sometimes, the waves at the sea are so strong that they sweep over the lighthouse, making it even dangerous for the planes to fly over the sea. Because of the hazardous nature of the Iroise Sea, the French government has introduced search and rescue operations on the water.

7. Iroise is contained within the Celtic Sea.

The Iroise Sea is not a stand-alone sea but rather a portion of the Atlantic Ocean. The sea stretches between Ile de Sein and Ushant and is contained within the Celtic Sea. Iroise Sea borders the remainder of the Celtic sea both to the north and west. The Celtic Sea is a portion of the Atlantic Ocean, located off the south coast of Ireland. The Iroise Sea also borders the Bay of Biscay and its currents are influenced by the English Channel which is sometimes considered the limits of the Celtic Sea.

6. The Iroise Sea was designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1988.

The Iroise was designated a biosphere reserve by the UNESCO in 1988 because of the rich marine life. A biosphere reserve. A biosphere reserve is an ecosystem that contains unique flora and fauna with scientific and natural interest. The idea of a biosphere reserve is to promote research and education in ecosystem conservation. Iroise National Nature Reserve consists of a rocky marine island and an open marine area. The reserve is a major tourist attraction in Brittany and also provides a basis for other commercial activities.

5. In 2007 - the Iroise sea became France's first marine park.

Despite the extensive pollution due to oil spillage and overfishing, the sea still has abundant flora and fauna. The area is considered the richest seaweed environment in Europe. Because of this, the French Government designated the region as the the first marine park in the country on October 2, 2007. The park was labeled “Parc Naturel Marin d’Iroise.” The objective of creating the marine park was to enhance the marine environment knowledge and to promote marine activities in the country. The marine park occupies approximately 1,370 square miles.

4. The Pont de l'Iroise is named after the sea.

Pont de l'Iroise is a type of a cable-stayed bridge that crosses over Elorn River in Brittany. The bridge connects to roadstead of Brest and carries a road between Brest and Quimper known as the route Nationale 165, which connects the Le Relecq-Kerhuon and Plougastel-Daoulas. The bridge got its name from the Iroise Sea where the roadstead of Brest opens into.

3. The sea is a biogeographic transition zone.

Iroise Sea is one of the popular biogeographic transition zones of the world. The sea divides the temperate and cold-temperate marine animals and boreal marine life. Iroise Sea is known for diverse flora and fauna that are unique and unusual. The marine life along the sea are characteristically partially segregated and exhibit slightly different behaviors.

2. The French navy has been active in the region since 1631.

The French navy has been active in the regions of Iroise Sea since 1631. Brest was established as a naval base in the region. Brest is a military port and a city located on the western edge of Europe. The region was chosen as a naval base because of its strategic location as a seaport town. Other sources claim that region around the Iroise Sea was selected as a naval base because the high currents and violent storms protect the area from surprise attacks.

1. The sea is home to some 300 species of seaweed.

The Iroise Sea is known for rich flora and fauna. The region is specifically known to be the richest environment for seaweed in the continent of Europe. There are approximately 300 species of seaweed growing in the region. The rocky islands of the Iroise Sea provide the perfect habitat for the seaweeds. The presence of the high number of seaweed and other marine flora and fauna led to the designation of the area as a biosphere reserve.


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