The Shantar Islands are a group of fifteen islands that lie in Uda Bay, in the southwestern zone of the Sea of Okhotsk. These islands are located close to the shores of the Siberian mainland. Most islands have rugged cliffs, but they are of moderate height; the highest point in the island group is 720 metres.
The largest island in the Shantar group is Bolshoy Shantar Island (1790 km2). It is about 72 km in length and 49 km in width. It has a large brackish lake (Lake Bol'shoe) in its northern end which is connected to the sea through a narrow passage. Smelts (Hypomesus japonicus) and (H. olidus) are found on this lake.
Other islands include Feklistova Island (372 km2), Maly Shantar Island, (100 km2), Prokofyeva, Sakharnaya Golova, Belichiy, Kusova, Ptichiy, Utichiy, Yuzhnyy and finally Medvezhiy, which lies very close to the coast.