From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Coordinates: 36°0′N 3°0′W
The Alboran Sea is the westernmost portion of the Mediterranean
Sea, lying between Spain on the north and Morocco and Algeria on
the south. The Strait of Gibraltar, which lies at the west end of the
Alboran Sea, connects the Mediterranean with the Atlantic Ocean.
Its average depth is 1,461 feet (445 m) and maximum depth is 4,920
feet (1,500 m).
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the
Alboran Sea as follows: 
On the West. The Eastern limit of the Strait of Gibraltar [A line
joining Europa Point to P. Almina (35°54′N 5°18′W)].
On the East. A line joining Cape de Gata (Spain) to C. Fegalo
(Africa) (35°36′N 1°12′W).
Surface currents in the Alboran Sea flow eastward, bringing water
from the Atlantic into Mediterranean; deeper subsurface currents flow
westward, carrying saltier Mediterranean water into the Atlantic. There
is typically a rotary circulation, also known as a gyre, in the Alboran
An image centred on the Alboran Sea. Morocco, Spain, and
Sea as a result of this exchange of water.  The Alboran Sea is a Algeria can be seen.
transition zone between the two seas, containing a mix of
Mediterranean and Atlantic species. The Alboran Sea is habitat for the
largest population of bottlenose dolphins in the western Mediterranean, is home to
the last population of harbour porpoises in the Mediterranean, and is the most
important feeding grounds for loggerhead sea turtles in Europe. The Alboran sea
also hosts important commercial fisheries, including sardines and swordfish. In
2003, the World Wildlife Fund raised concerns about the widespread drift net fishing
endangering populations of dolphins, turtles, and other marine animals.
Several small islands dot the sea, including the Isla de Alborán. Most, even
including those closer to the Moroccan shore are controlled by Spain.
An arc of mountains, known as the Gibraltar Arc, wraps around the northern,
western, and southern sides of the Alboran Sea. The Gibraltar Arc is made up of
the Baetic Cordillera of southern Spain and the Rif Mountains of Morocco. These
mountains, known to ecologists as the Baetic-Rifan complex, are one of the
Map of the Alboran Sea.
Mediterranean's biodiversity hotspots; like the Alboran sea, the Baetic-Rifan
complex is a transition between the Mediterranean and Atlantic (Macaronesian)
ecologies. The moderating influence of the Atlantic has allowed many species in the Baetic and Rif mountains to survive the
climatic fluctuations of the last few million years that caused them to become extinct elsewhere around the Mediterranean
1. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" . International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
2. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Alboran Sea. eds. P.Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and
the Environment. Washington DC
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