White Sea (Russ. Bieloye More) a large gulf or branch of the Arctic ocean, which penetrates far into N. W. Russia, between lat. 63° 48' and 68° 40' N. It is nearly semicircular.; length from N. E. to S. W. about 360 m., greatest breadth from N. W. to S. E. 280 m. At its entrance, between Kanin Nos and Sviatoi Nos, it is about 100 m. wide. It forms four large gulfs or bays, viz.: that of Mezen on the northeast, that of Archangel on the south, that of Onega on the southwest, and the deep inlet extending, with a mean width of 25 m., nearly 100 m. into Lapland on the northwest, called the gulf of Kandalask. Its area is estimated at 44,000 sq. m. It has numerous small islands, and two of considerable size, that of Solovetz, in the Solovetzkoi group, at the entrance of the gulf of Onega, and Morzhovetz, at the entrance of the bay of Mezen. The sea has held and rocky shores, and deep waters, except in the gulf of Archangel. The Mezen, Dwina, Onega, Vyg, Kem, Kamienna, and many smaller streams flow into the White sea. Its only large port is Archangel at the mouth of the Dwina. The navigation is open for five or six months of the year. Fish are abundant.
The white whale, or whitefish of the whalemen, seal, salmon, cod, herring, etc, are caught in large numbers; and from Archangel and the other towns on the coast vessels are sent to Spitzbergen, Nova Zembla, and the continental coasts of the Polar sea in pursuit of whales, seals, and walruses. - The White sea first became known to English navigators through Richard Chancellor, commanding a ship in the unfortunate squadron of Sir Hugh Willoughby in 1553, who landed on the shores. of the gulf of Archangel.