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Muynak fishing port, Aral Sea, 1952

Muynak fishing port, Aral Sea, 1952


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30.7 x 20.8 cm ⏐ 12.1 x 8.2 in (300dpi)

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Muynak fishing port. Fisherman on the Aral Sea in 1952, at the port town of Muynak, Uzbekistan. This port used to be on the shores of the Aral Sea, in Central Asia. The Aral Sea was once one of the world's largest inland seas, with a thriving fishing industry, but canals dug by the Soviet Union in the 1930s 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 shoreline has receded by over 100 kilometres, and the remaining water has tripled in salinity and is heavily contaminated by toxins, heavy metals and agricultural chemicals. The fishing industry now depends on frozen fish brought in by train from the Baltic coast.

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