The Shantar Islands are in the westernmost part of the Sea of Okhotsk in waters known for marine mammals including Minke whales and orcas, as well as bearded, ringed, Largha and ribbon seals. Fifteen rocky islands make up the group, but the highest point among them is only 720 meters (2362 feet) above sea level. Native people of the Sea of Okhotsk visited the Shantars to fish and hunt for many years before Russian explorers began sailing here in the mid-1600s. Whalers in the 1800s likely sought shelter in the coves and embayments of the Shantars. Today however, the islands form the Shantar Islands National Park to protect the wildlife of the islands. Species enjoying a safe haven in the Shantars include bowhead whales, Kamchatka brown bears, martins, river otters, Steller's Sea Eagles and Siberian Grouse.