Key Facts about Gulf of Aden

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Overview:

European Union naval forces recently arrested six suspected pirates after they allegedly opened fire on an oil tanker traveling through the Gulf of Aden.

About Gulf of Aden:

  • It is an extension of the Indian Ocean, located between the Arabian Peninsula and the African continent.
  • It connects the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea and ultimately the Indian Ocean.
  • The gulf is named after “Aden,” a port city on Yemen’s coast.
  • It is approximately 900 km long and 500 km wide and covers roughly 410,000 square kilometers.
  • It is bounded to the south by Somalia and the Socotra Islands (part of Yemen), north by Yemen, east by the Arabian Sea, and west by Djibouti
  • The gulf is connected to the Somali Sea to the south by the Guardafui Channel, and to the Red Sea on the west by the Strait of Bab el Mandeb.
  • In the west, it narrows into the Gulf of Tadjoura, near Djibouti.
  • It is demarcated from the Arabian Sea by the Horn of Africa and the Socotra Islands.
  • The dominant relief feature of the gulf’s terrain is the Sheba Ridge, an extension of the Indian Ocean ridge system, which extends along the middle of the gulf.
  • Some of the major cities near the gulf include Aden, Mukalla, Ahnwar, Balhaf, Berbera, Bosaso, and Djibouti City.
  • Major Ports: Aden in Yemen, and Berbera and Bosaso in Somalia. 
  • It is also a critical part of the Suez Canal shipping route, which connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Q1: What is a Gulf?

The Gulf is a portion of the sea that is almost surrounded by land except one narrow opening. Gulfs are formed when a giant rock collapses or when a piece of land sinks. This causes a big indentation in the area, and the water eventually fills it up.

Source: EU Naval Forces Capture 6 Pirates After Failed Piracy Attack In The Gulf of Aden