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Bolshoy Shantar Island

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Bolshoy Shantar is an island in the Sea of Okhotsk, Russia. It is the main island of the Shantar Islands. Its area is 1766 km². It is about 72 km in length and 49 km in width. It has a large brackish lake (Lake Bol'shoe) in its northern end which is connected to the sea through a narrow passage. Smelts (Hypomesus japonicus) and (H. olidus) are found on this lake.[1]

There are spruce forests on Bolshoy Shantar.[2]

Administratively this island belongs to the Khabarovsk Krai of the Russian Federation.


The Shantar Islands were explored by Russian surveyors between 1711 and 1725.[3]

Bolshoy Shantar was frequented by American whaleships between 1853 and 1866. They hunted bowhead whales, particularly in the passages that separate Bolshoy Shantar from Feklistova and Prokofyeva. They also went ashore to obtain wood and water.[4] On 17 October 1858, the bark Rajah (250 tons), of New Bedford, was wrecked on the north side of the island during a strong gale. Captain Ansel N. Stewart, the first officer, and 11 other men perished; the second mate and the twelve other crew members were saved and went aboard the ship Condor (349 tons), of New Bedford, Captain Samuel H. Whiteside.[5]

Popular culture

This island is mentioned in Grand Theft Auto IV as the location of the headquarters of a fictional Peer-to-peer Programme called Shitster (a spoof of Napster.)


  1. ^ Lake Bol'shoe
  2. ^ Taiga in the Shantarskiye Islands
  3. ^ From the History of the Great Russian Geographical Discoveries in the Arctic and Pacific Oceans in the Seventeenth and First Half of the Eighteenth Centuries. by A. V. Efimov
  4. ^ Harrison, of New Bedford, July 5–6, 1853, Nicholson Whaling Collection (NWC); Isabella, of New Bedford, July 8, 1854, NWC; Mary Frazier, of New Bedford, August 28, 1855, NWC; Navy, of New Bedford, July 28, 1861, Kendall Whaling Museum (KWM); Cicero, of New Bedford, August 30, 1863, KWM; Josephine, of New Bedford, September 14, 1864, September 27, 1865, KWM; Java, of New Bedford, September 17–19, 1866, KWM.
  5. ^ The Friend, Honolulu, December 8, 1858, p. 95.

Coordinates: 54°56′N 137°30′E / 54.933°N 137.500°E / 54.933; 137.500{{#coordinates:54|56|N|137|30|E|region:RU_type:isle_source:GNS-enwiki|| |primary |name= }}