Farming and fishing by the Aral Sea

Farming and fishing by the Aral Sea

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Credit: MASSIMO BREGA/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Farming and fishing by the Aral Sea. Cart loaded with hay, near fishing boats, on the shores of the Aral Sea. This inland sea, once one of the largest in the world, is in the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The Aral Sea used to have a thriving fishing industry, but in the 1930s the Soviet Union dug canals that diverted the sea's major rivers to irrigate cotton fields. From the 1960s, the sea started to shrink, and by 2004 some 75 percent of the sea's area had been lost. The remaining water has tripled in salinity and is heavily contaminated by toxins, heavy metals and agricultural chemicals. The climate and seasons have changed, and the people in the area now struggle to survive on a mixture of agriculture and fishing.

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Keywords: 21st century, agricultural, agriculture, aral sea, asia, asian, boat, cart, central asia, disaster, dried, ecological, ecology, environment, environmental, farming, fishing, fishing boat, fishing industry, fodder, grass, harvested, hay, industrial, industry, livestock food, man-made, manmade, plant material, uzbek

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