Gulf of Paria
The Gulf of Paria (Spanish: Golfo de Paria) is a 7,800 km2 (3,000 sq mi) shallow (37m at its deepest) semi-enclosed inland sea located between the island of Trinidad (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) and the east coast of Venezuela. It separates the two countries with as little as 15 km separating them at its narrowest and 120 km at its widest points.The tides within the Gulf are semi-diurnal in nature with a range of approximately 1m. The Gulf of Paria is considered to be one of the best natural harbours on the Atlantic coast of the Americas. The jurisdiction of the Gulf of Paria is split between Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela with Trinidad and Tobago having control over approximately 2,940 km2 (1,140 sq mi)(37.7%) and Venezuela the remainder(62.3%).
It was originally named the Gulf of the Whale (Spanish: Golfo de la Ballena) by Christopher Columbus, but the 19th Century whaling industry eliminated whales from the area and populations have never recovered. Cartographic sources of the late 18th century repeatedly refer to it as the Sad Gulf (Spanish: Golfo Triste).