A marginal sea
is a sea bordering a continent
and separated from an ocean
by any of a variety of features such as:
Marginal seas have been exploited by maritime nations, especially for trade
purposes. In some parts of the world piracy
is a problem where government control is ineffective. Marginal seas, as territories, are often disputed.
In the terminology of geography studies in East Asia, marginal seas are classified in two ways:
- Vertical marginal seas (縱邊緣海): the long (main) axis parallels the coastline of the nearest land.
- Examples are:
- Horizontal marginal seas (橫邊緣海): the long axis is approximately perpendicular to the coastline.
There are three marginal seas (邊緣海 or 半封閉海) around China
(listed in order of size):
- The South China Sea (Horizontal) (by Southeast Asian islands)
- The East China Sea (Vertical) (by Ryukyu)
- The Yellow Sea (Vertical) (by Korea)
Seas which are barely marginal include the Tasman Sea
Seas which are not marginal include the Arabian Sea