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Mutsu Bay (陸奥湾, Mutsu-wan) is a bay in Aomori Prefecture, in the northern Tōhoku region of northern Japan. It is bordered by the Tsugaru Peninsula to the west, the Shimokita Peninsula to the east and north, with an east-west distance of approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) and a north-south distance of approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) at its eastern end, with a total area of approximately 1,667.89 square kilometres (643.98 sq mi). The outlet of the bay is the 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) wide Tairadate Strait which connects Mutsu Bay to the Tsugaru Strait separating the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. The bay has an average depth of 40 metres (130 ft) to 45 metres (148 ft), with a maximum depth of 70 metres (230 ft) near its outlet to the Tsugaru Strait.[1]

Mutsu Bay
Tsugaru Strait.png
Mutsu Bay in center
Mutsu Bay is located in Japan
Mutsu Bay
Mutsu Bay
LocationAomori Prefecture, Japan
Coordinates40°59′N 140°58′E / 40.983°N 140.967°E / 40.983; 140.967
Ocean/sea sourcesPacific Ocean
Basin countriesJapan
Max. length40 km (24.85 mi)
Max. width40 km (24.85 mi)
Surface area1,668 km2 (644 sq mi)
Average depth40 m (130 ft)
SettlementsAomori, Mutsu

Mutsu Bay includes Aomori Bay in the southwest, Noheji Bay in the southeast and Ōminato Bay to the northeast.

Economically, the shallow waters of the bay are an important fishery, with the cultivation of scallops predominating.[2] Other products commercially harvested include Sea cucumber, Olive flounder and Ascidiacea.[3] The fisheries were severely damaged by the 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer heat waves.

In the year 2002, the Ministry of the Environment classified some tidal flats of the eastern Mutsu Bay shoreline to be one of the 500 Important Wetlands in Japan.[4]

Pacific white-sided dolphins are regular migrants into the bay annually, and whale watching and surveys using ferries have been conducted.[5][6]



  • Campbell, Allen; Nobel, David S (1993). Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Kodansha. p. 1025. ISBN 406205938X.


  1. ^ 【閉鎖性海域ネット】10, 陸奥湾 (in Japanese). Ministry of the Environment of Japan. April 1, 2004.
  2. ^ 【特報 追う】ホタテ漁急成長の陰で バイト、夜間操業増加 陸奥湾遭難事故 (in Japanese). Sankei Shimbun. April 10, 2008. Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved December 5, 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Makino, Mitsutaku (2011). "Chapter 4.2: Sea Cucumber Fishery in Mutsu Bay". Fisheries Management in Japan: Its institutional features and case studies. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 66. ISBN 978-94-007-1777-0.
  4. ^ "500 Important Wetlands in Japan". No.63 Northern Shimokita-hanto Nearshore Waters. The Ministry of the Environment, Japan. 2002. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  5. ^ Mutsuwan Ferry. 青森・陸奥湾 イルカ情報. Retrieved on March 25, 2017
  6. ^ Kiyokawa H.. 2016. Study on the Migratory Behavior of Pacific White-Sided Dolphin Lagenorhynchus obliquidens in The Mutsu Bay, Aomori Prefecture (pdf). Journal of Aomori University Multidisciplinary Research Institute. Vol.17, No.2, pp.12-25. Retrieved on March 25, 2017