PoL # 12 Aral Sea Stories: Tahrira, golden carp, untraceable artists who restore fishermen to ships stranded in the desert and other tales.
Fifty years ago the Aral Sea in Central Asia was the planet’s fourth largest lake. In the decades since it has virtually disappeared; a victim of the disastrous cotton irrigation schemes that extract most of the water from its feeder rivers. However today Kazakhstan is making a surprisingly successful attempt to restore the small part of the North Aral within it’s territory. Water levels have risen, native fish species have spectacularly increased, wildlife is returning and, although there is a long way to go, improvement to the environment are obvious. The fishing industry is employing local people once more, bringing work into an impoverished and depopulated region.
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