Major Straits of the World – Part 3

Major Straits of the World Part 1

Major Straits of the World – Part 3

Straits of Indian Ocean:


  • The Bab-el-Mandeb is a strait between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa.
  • It connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
  • The Bab-el-Mandeb acts as a strategic link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
  • In 2006, an estimated 3.3 million barrels of oil passed through the strait per day, out of a world total of about 43 million barrels per day moved by tankers.

Strait of Hormuz:

  • The Strait of Hormuz is a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
  • It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points.
  • On the north coast lies Iran, and on the south coast the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman.
  • The strait is about 90 nautical miles (167 km) long, with a width varying from about 52 nautical miles (96 km) to 21 nautical miles (39 km).
  • A third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and almost 25% of total global oil consumption passes through the strait.

Strait of Malacca:

  • The Strait of Malacca is a narrow stretch of water, 800 km long and from 65–250 km wide, between the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia) to the northeast and the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the southwest.
  • It connects the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and the South China Sea (Pacific Ocean).
  • As the main shipping channel between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world.
  • It is named after the Malacca Sultanate that ruled over the strait between 1400 and 1511, the center of administration of which was located in the modern-day state of Malacca, Malaysia.
  • The Strait of Malacca is part of the Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region to the northern Italian hub of Trieste with its rail connections to Central Europe and the North Sea.
  • According to the US Energy Information Agency (EIA), in 2016, approximately 16 million barrels of crude oil and 3.2 million barrels of liquefied natural gas (LNG) were transported daily through the Strait.

Palk Strait:

  • The Palk Strait is a strait between the Tamil Nadu state of India and the Jaffna District of the Northern Province of the island nation of Sri Lanka.
  • It connects the Bay of Bengal in the northeast with Palk Bay in the southwest.
  • The strait is named after Robert Palk, who was a governor of Madras (1755–1763) during the Company Raj period.
  • Palk Bay is studded at its southern end with a chain of low islands and reef shoals that are collectively called Adam’s Bridge.
  • The shallow waters and reefs of the strait make it difficult for large ships to pass through, although fishing boats and small craft carrying coastal trade have navigated the strait for centuries.

Sunda Strait:

  • The Sunda Strait is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra.
  • It connects the Java Sea with the Indian Ocean.
  • The strait takes its name from the Sunda Kingdom, which ruled the western portion of Java from 669 to around 1579.
  • The strait is dotted with a number of islands, many of which are volcanic in origin.

Mozambique Channel:

  • The Mozambique Channel is an arm of the Indian Ocean located between the Southeast African countries of Madagascar and Mozambique.
  • A warm current, the Mozambique Current, flows in a southward direction in the channel, leading into the Agulhas Current off the east coast of Southern Africa.

To know about straits of Atlantic ocean click here.