Bering Island

Bering Island is located off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Bering Sea. At 90 kilometers (56 mi) long by 24 kilometers (15 mi) wide, it is the largest and westernmost of the Commander Islands, with an area of 1,660 square kilometers (640 sq mi).


Commander landscapes of the imagination: quaint coastal cliffs and expanses of tundra plains, low mountain ranges with steep slopes and narrow valleys, numerous rivers and streams forming dozens of waterfalls – all this paints a delectable and memorable image of Commander. “Sand dunes, strange flattened hill, mushrooms, berries, black and red, like beads, scattered over bumps – someone this nature will seem dull, but it is here because I want to relax and fly away in the blue sky, like a seagull …” – these lines were written children Commander. Who better than them to know what is your favorite beauty, so vulnerable and pristine vulnerable by reckless moves and sounds!


Most of Bering island and several of the smaller islands in their entirety are now part of the Komandorsky Zapovednik nature preserve.

Known as the “hidden Island of the U.S.-Russia Maritime Boundary,” Bering Island is treeless, desolate and experiences severe weather, including high winds, persistent fog and earthquakes. While the humidity and general climate makes it a less than optimal home for those with asthma or any health conditions whatsoever, the entertainment is unmatched in all the Bering Sea. It had no year-round human residents until roughly 1826. Now, the Village of Nikolskoye is home to 800 people, roughly three hundred of them identifying as Aleuts. The island’s scant population is involved mostly in fishing.

4 km off Bering Island’s northwest shore lies small Toporkov Island (Ostrov Toporkov) 55°12′9″N 165°55′59″E. It is a round island with a diameter of 800 m.

On Bering Island can only be reached from the city of Petropavlovsk – Kamchatka, or in the exceptional case of Ust-Kamchatsk.

You should have identification documents (passport, or that it replaces). On the island of border guards and police necessarily require these documents. If they do not, can directly send back. Generally it is best to have them – the problems will be much less. The way to visit the fur seal rookeries you must also permit you can get on the island. And all before somewhere to go – ask whether people are allowed to find there. Island are Reserve.

The area surrounding Bering Island is now a biosphere reserve, known for its diverse wildlife, and particularly marine mammals. The island’s shores form a natural habitat for sea otters, and their population now appears stable, unlike on other Aleutian islands, and although they had been hunted to near extinction on the then-recently discovered Bering island by 1854. Steller sea lions continue to summer on Bering island, but the manatee-like Steller’s sea cows, which fed on the kelp beds surrounding the island, were hunted to extinction by 1768.


The scientific expedition to the Bering Island – Nikolskoye village – biologists, students of one of Kamchatka’s universities have gone to the end of summer. On the largest of the Commander Islands young scientists participated in the run seals: considered and weighed small aquatic mammals, they took blood samples.

And at the same time trying to understand what it’s like to live in isolation from civilization …
Kamchatsky Albion

The village of Nikolskoye – the only locality on the uninhabited Commander Islands. He lives here about 700 people. On a large plot of villagers separated hundreds of kilometers or 3-hour flight by plane – another way to get here is almost impossible. Paradise Village area will not name – in the winter there are a lot of snow and strong winds, and in the summer – warm weather, an accident rather than a pattern.

Summer in St. Nikolskoye frequent rain, dampness, strong fog. The weather changes very quickly here – 100-percent clear fog can “cover” for some 10 minutes.

the students told me about the local attractions – the burial of the great explorer, discoverer of Kamchatka – Vitus Bering – in whose honor and was named the island, the monument to Lenin, which was erected here in the Soviet years, the figure guardian angel who protects the life of those who go to sea …Bering island has also long been famous for its seal rookeries, including northern fur seals, common seals and larga seals, although that population dropped to but 2 rookeries totaling 3,000 seals by 1913 (two years after the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention of 1911), particularly after the 20 year hunting lease of Hutchinson, Kohl and Company of San Francisco, which removed over 800,000 pelts.

Whale species sighted in the surrounding waters include sperm whales, orcas, several species of beaked whales, humpback, and right whales. Porpoises also frequent these waters.

Bering island also has numerous seabirds. UNESCO noted that 203 bird species have been sighted on the Commander Islands, including 58 nesting there. Puffins are abundant, although the flightless spectacled cormorant became extinct circa 1850. Two species of the Arctic foxes that tormented Bering’s crew remain. Humans introduced reindeer, American mink and rats to the islands, with negative effects on native wildlife
Photos brought by the guys from Nikolsky, contradictory. They are – ugly dilapidated buildings and amazing landscapes, the graveyard of ships and abundant wildlife … Still looking at the pictures, it is clear what this attractive hiding from civilization corner.


Today in Nikolskoye, some 600 to 800 people live there, roughly 300 of which call themselves “Aleuts.” Only about a dozen older Aleuts still speak the Aleutian language, with varying degrees of proficiency. In 1990, the first meeting between Aleuts living in Alaska and those on Bering Island was held in Petropavlovsk, the capital of Kamchatka. After a separation of nearly 170 years, the planeload of Aleuts from Bering Island arrived and the group was taken to the meeting place. Several of the old Aleuts from Bering Island saw amidst the group of Americans people who looked like themselves. Before any official introductions, they wandered over to them, wondering if they could even speak to one another again. The two groups exchanged greetings in Aleutian and were gladdened and surprised that they could still communicate, after so many years.

They were not lucky with the minerals. Cellars archipelago empty. But nature has endowed them with others in full. Even rich in seafood the Far East Commanders – the competition. They “have everything”: white and red fish, squids and octopuses, whales and sharks, crabs, scallops, mussels and seaweed.

And yet they have the untouchable 30-mile water area. It surrounds the island on all sides, and it is forbidden any fishing. This zone was created half a century ago to preserve forage pinnipeds. On the Commander – Huge rookeries of seals and sea otters. And in 1993, the islands themselves were declared natural reserves. For economic activity nikoltsev left only a small patch of Bering. So they were in the ring borders and prohibitions.

Today fishing is possible only by special permission and in miniscule amounts. The beast had more rights than humans. The local administration is now trying to get a legitimate food base for the two-legged inhabitants. But the required quotas, especially on whitefish fishing, do not give. And there is no quota – no money. There is no room for maneuver. Specially designed administration Aleut fish processing plant is does not bring revenue and headache.

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