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The Kuroshio Current and Oyashio Current collide off Japan’s eastern coast in the Pacific Ocean. The Kuroshio Current is the world’s prominent warm current and travels at a speed of seven kilometers per hour, slightly faster than a running adult. This strong flow reaches a width of 100 kilometers and transports 50 million tons of water per second, depending on the location.

The Oyashio Current is a subarctic flow that circulates counterclockwise in the north part of the Northern Pacific Ocean. It has two branches. One flows south along the Kamchatka Peninsula and enters the Sea of Okhotsk from Chishima Islands. The other branch flows south off-shore of Hokkaido and Tohoku. Suitably to its name, “Parent Current,” the Oyashio Current provides an abundance of nutrition.

The Oyashio Current collides with the Kuroshio and creates a productive fishing ground for sardines, mackerel pike, squid, bonito and mackerel. Nutrients in the Oyashio Current are warmed by the Kuroshio Current, resulting in an explosive growth of phytoplankton. This attracts the zooplankton that feed on the phytoplankton, which in turn attracts fish that eat the zooplankton, thus forming a feeding chain.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source

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