On the south of Russian Far East territory of unique beauty is located – Far East marine reserve, first one in the country. Above 98% of its territory is water area, here unique natural complexes of Petr the Great bay of Sea of Japan are preserved. Water and bottom of the reserve is inhabited by more than 2130 species of plants and animals. Such wealth of marine world is a natural phenomenon. The main objects for protection of marine reserve – far east trepang, king crab, Pacific octopus, seal, bay seal, seabird colonies. Minke whales, killer whales and dolphins enter the water areas of the reserve. Fantastic shapes of the shore, compositions of majestic rocks and grottoes, graceful arches and kekurs leave unforgettable impressions. On small islands yew groves with trees of three-meter height were preserved. The landmark of the reserve is the Baklanyi kekurs, which are chosen by bay seal for rookery. Here, these charming seals can reproduce and nurture their offspring in complete safety. Furugelma island is the southernmost island in Russia. It is inhabited by great amount of black-tailed gulls and Japanese cormorants. This is the only place in Russia where Chinese egret and black-faced spoonbill are nesting – both are rare species of world ornithofauna. Excursion routes in the reserve will be interesting not only for groups of ornitologists and divers, but for all admirers of nature of any age. The Far East marine reserve belongs to the International System of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO.
Far East Marine Reserve. Photo - I. Kryukov
The spotted seal. Photo - Dmitriy Rudas
Far East Marine Reserve. Photo - V. Serebryanskiy
The best time for visit is May - October.
What to see: the islands and coves of Peter the Great Bay, bay seal rookeries, breeding grounds, eco-educational trails on the Popov island, the botanical garden Likander.
How to get to: The nearest major city is Vladivostok (250 km along the motorway). The tours into the marine reserve are organized by travel agencies. On water transport: from the quay of Vladivostok, weekend excursions to the reserve are organized. On 10-seater boats you can visit the bay Sredyaya, the islands of the archipelago of the Empress Eugenia, to see the bay seal rookeries and the Baklagni kekurs. In the evening - return to Vladivostok. By car: from Vladivostok by road to the village. Slavyanka, from there - on the boat. Up to Popov Island, the environmental education center of the Far Eastern Marine Reserve, ferries run from the Vladivostok sea passenger terminal daily.