Caspian Sea

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 11, 2022, 14:45

The Caspian Sea located in Central Asia is the largest inland water body in the world. It is disputed if it is a sea or a lake. It is a saltwater body fed by many rivers in Asia and Europe. A total of 130 rivers feed this sea. The Volga is the biggest river that flows into the lake and accounts for 80% of the water inlet.

Parts of the Caspian Sea

Because of its vastness, the Caspian Sea is divided into three distinct regions. The northernmost part of the Caspian Sea is the shallowest, with the water depth reaching only 20 meters. The shores in the northern part are vast and sandy.

The southern part of the Caspian Sea is the deepest, with the water reaching a depth of 1,000 meters. The shores are filled with beautiful cliffs. The middle Caspian Sea has a depth of about 190 meters, and the east and west coastline is hilly.

Categorization of the Caspian Sea

It is an old debate if the Caspian Sea is a lake or a sea. It is widely accepted that the Caspian Sea is indeed a lake as it shows most characteristics of a lake. However, due to its vast size and the salinity of its water, many call it a sea.

Oil and Gas Production - Caspian Sea

The Caspian Sea is an important oil and gas producing region for the world. The region has large oil and gas reserves both onshore and offshore. The oil production in this region has consistently increased year on year.

Despite having vast oil and gas reserves, this region is far from being a primary energy producer. The reason for this is its distance from export markets, making it expensive to export. Apart from this, the Caspian Sea freezes every year, increasing the operational cost of producing oil and gas.

The World’s Best Caviar - Caspian Sea

The Caspian Sea gives the world the most famous and expensive caviar from Beluga Sturgeon. This roe is costly because it is short in supply. One kilo of this caviar sells for a whopping $25,000 per kilogram.

With the collapse of the USSR, Beluga Sturgeon started getting overfished and pushed the species to become endangered. Because of this, countries like the United States banned this caviar, and it is illegal in most parts of the world.

The Dispute over the Caspian Sea

During the time of the USSR, the Caspian Sea was shared by the USSR and its neighbouring country Iran. After the USSR split, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan got into a dispute on how to share the vast water body.

The dispute of whether the Caspian Sea is a lake or a sea is important here. If it is considered a sea, the international maritime laws apply. But if it is a lake, then the resources need to be divided equally by the neighbouring countries.

After over 22 years of debates, a landmark deal signed gave the Caspian sea a “special status,” making it neither a sea nor a lake. This status allows the countries sharing their coastline to negotiate how they should share natural resources.

More Current Affairs Topics
National Youth DayNcc Day
Nct Delhi Amendment BillNelson Mandela World Humanitarian Award
Nerlp North East Rural Livelihood ProjectNew E Commerce Rule
New India Literacy Programme NilpNew York Convention
Nipun Bharat ProgrammeNirvik Scheme

FAQs on the Caspian Sea

Q1: What kind of water body is the Caspian Sea?

A: The Caspian Sea is a vast inland water body that is considered a lake by some and a sea by others.

Q2: Which countries share the shoreline of the Caspian Sea?

A: The countries that share the shoreline of the Caspian Sea are Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.

Q3: What is the Caspian Sea famous for?

A: The Caspian Sea is most famous for its caviar and being one of the oldest oil reserves globally.

Q4: Is the Caspian Sea a fresh-water lake or a saltwater lake?

A: The Caspian Sea is a saltwater lake. It has 1/3rd salinity of that of the ocean.