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RTX38KDU
Aral Sea: big fish back in small pond
The Aral Sea, once the world's fourth biggest lake, is most likely gone forever, its death having brought about decades of environmental disaster — but a project to salvage its northern part appears to have succeeded as commercial fishing is once again viable.
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IW6
June 01, 2017
A boat is seen on the shore of the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren, south-western Kazakhstan....
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A boat is seen on the shore of the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren, south-western Kazakhstan. The Aral Sea, once the world's fourth biggest lake, is most likely gone forever, its death having brought about decades of environmental disaster. However, a project to salvage its northern part appears to have succeeded as commercial fishing is once again viable in the adjacent Kazakh towns and villages.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IW0
June 01, 2017
An abandoned ship lies next to a salinated part of the Aral Sea coastline near the village of Akespe....
AKESPE, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
An abandoned ship lies next to a salinated part of the Aral Sea coastline near the village of Akespe. Akespe, home to some 250 people, and Karateren, inhabited by about 150, used to be dominated by fishermen until the water receded too far away - but it is now back in Karateren. The Aral was nearly destroyed as a result of the Soviet Union's plan to boost cotton production by diverting Syr Darya and Amu Darya, the two rivers feeding it, to irrigate the desert. Construction of irrigation facilities on the rivers began in the 1940s and by the 1960s the coast line was receding by about three metres a year, said 84-year-old Sagnai Zhurimbetov, who had worked as a fisherman on the Aral for 56 years and now lives in the former port town.


REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IVX
June 01, 2017
Former fisherman Sagnai Zhurimbetov, 84, holds his 10-month-old great-grandson Ykhlas at his home. Construction...
AKESPE, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Former fisherman Sagnai Zhurimbetov, 84, holds his 10-month-old great-grandson Ykhlas at his home. Construction of irrigation facilities on the rivers began in the 1940s and by the 1960s the coast line was receding by about three metres a year, said Zhurimbetov, who had worked as a fisherman on the Aral for 56 years and now lives in the former port town. "With the water gone, we started doing whatever we could (to survive)," Zhurimbetov said. "Teams of fishermen travelled across Kazakhstan, to other lakes."

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWH
June 01, 2017
Others took up animal breeding - camels now graze on what used to be seabed near Karateren village -...
Zhalanash, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Others took up animal breeding - camels now graze on what used to be seabed near Karateren village - or left altogether. Throughout the area, most of the soil is covered with a white salty crust, which makes farming a tough job.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IW8
June 01, 2017
Car tracks are seen across salinated land outside the village of Zhalanash. Zhalanash, where some 700...
Zhalanash, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Car tracks are seen across salinated land outside the village of Zhalanash. Zhalanash, where some 700 people live, is close to what used to be a cove (small bay) housing many fishing vessels and later became a tourist attraction known as "the ship graveyard". By the 1990s, when the Soviet Union fell apart, the Aral had split into several smaller bodies of water and Kazakhstan focused on salvaging its northern part which lies fully within its territory, others being shared with Uzbekistan.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWP
June 01, 2017
Fishermen sail a boat on the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren. The idea was simple - build a...
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Fishermen sail a boat on the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren. The idea was simple - build a dam separating the so-called North Aral Sea from the drying-up remains of the southern part and increase water flow from Syr Darya. The dam was completed in 2005 and over the following decade annual fish catch nearly quintupled in the Kyzylorda region, according to official statistics.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IUZ
June 01, 2017
A sea shell is seen on a salinated part of the Aral Sea coastline near the village of Akespe. The coast...
AKESPE, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A sea shell is seen on a salinated part of the Aral Sea coastline near the village of Akespe. The coast line, which had once receded as much as 100 kilometres from the port town of Aral, is now 20-25 kilometres away as it fluctuates seasonally.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IXL
June 01, 2017
A fisherman pours water out of his boat on the shore of the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren....
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A fisherman pours water out of his boat on the shore of the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren. Some villages are once again within walking distance from the lake while the water has become much less salty, allowing a greater diversity of fish to thrive. Today, fishermen in Karateren - which is slowly growing in population - mostly catch bream, carp and pikeperch, the latter often exported.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IXF
June 01, 2017
A local resident Galymzhan works at a fish sorting factory in the village of Bogen. Bogen, populated...
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A local resident Galymzhan works at a fish sorting factory in the village of Bogen. Bogen, populated by some 1,000 people, is a former fishermen's village that used to be on the seashore. The return of commercial fishing has also created jobs at processing facilities where fish is sorted and frozen. Some families earn their living by importing and selling motorboats.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWZ
June 01, 2017
A abandoned ship lies between the coastline of the Aral Sea and sand dunes near the village of Akespe....
AKESPE, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A abandoned ship lies between the coastline of the Aral Sea and sand dunes near the village of Akespe. Still, the boats which fishermen on the Aral use today to check their nets are tiny compared with trawlers whose carcasses dot the former seabed, waiting to be picked apart for scrap metal.

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IXB
June 01, 2017
An sign showing a ship and a village name are seen at a sunset outside the village of Karateren. "The...
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
An sign showing a ship and a village name are seen at a sunset outside the village of Karateren. "The small Aral is not a real sea," says Zhurimbetov. "The old one used to have waves 7 metres high."

REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IVU
June 01, 2017
Akkenzhe Abdiyeva plays dombra during a dinner at home in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov...
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Akkenzhe Abdiyeva plays dombra during a dinner at home in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IVQ
June 01, 2017
Food cooks at a farm in the former sea village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Food cooks at a farm in the former sea village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IX9
June 01, 2017
Villager Zhanabek Ismagambetov, who was born in 1973, cuts a fish as his niece Dariga looks on in the...
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Villager Zhanabek Ismagambetov, who was born in 1973, cuts a fish as his niece Dariga looks on in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IXJ
June 01, 2017
Bibigul pours shubat, traditional drink made from camel milk, at family's Bolekun farm in the former...
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Bibigul pours shubat, traditional drink made from camel milk, at family's Bolekun farm in the former sea village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IVJ
June 01, 2017
Boldai Zhaksylykova (2nd R) and her family members pray after dinner at home in the village of Bogen....
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Boldai Zhaksylykova (2nd R) and her family members pray after dinner at home in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IVK
June 01, 2017
A student attends a lesson in a school in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A student attends a lesson in a school in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IVW
June 01, 2017
Students attend a lesson at a school in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Students attend a lesson at a school in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWS
June 01, 2017
Students walk in front of a new school building in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Students walk in front of a new school building in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWU
June 01, 2017
House are surrounded by dunes in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
House are surrounded by dunes in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWE
June 01, 2017
A boy rides a bicycle in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A boy rides a bicycle in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IX2
June 01, 2017
Fishermen ride in a truck to collect fish from a boat in shallow water by the Aral Sea, outside the village...
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Fishermen ride in a truck to collect fish from a boat in shallow water by the Aral Sea, outside the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IX0
June 01, 2017
Fishermen sail a boat on the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Fishermen sail a boat on the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IVM
June 01, 2017
Camels graze next to an abandoned fuel station in the village of Zhalanash. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
Zhalanash, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Camels graze next to an abandoned fuel station in the village of Zhalanash. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IVR
June 01, 2017
A girl tends cows in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
BOGEN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A girl tends cows in the village of Bogen. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IXI
June 01, 2017
Kenzhibek and his son Ernur stand next to their camels in the village of Zhalanash. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov...
Zhalanash, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Kenzhibek and his son Ernur stand next to their camels in the village of Zhalanash. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWM
June 01, 2017
Local resident Gabibolat Nurgaliyev, a retired doctor from the fishing village of Akespe, holds his grandson...
AKESPE, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Local resident Gabibolat Nurgaliyev, a retired doctor from the fishing village of Akespe, holds his grandson Sanzhar near the former port in the former coastal town of Aral. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IXH
June 01, 2017
A girl looks above a fence in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A girl looks above a fence in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IXG
June 01, 2017
A fisherman refuels his motorcycle in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A fisherman refuels his motorcycle in the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IX5
June 01, 2017
A man walks with livestock at the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A man walks with livestock at the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IXP
June 01, 2017
Local residents with horses walk beside electric lines in the town of Aral. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
AKESPE, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Local residents with horses walk beside electric lines in the town of Aral. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IW2
June 01, 2017
A ruined ship lays on a salinated part of the Aral Sea coastline near the village of Akespe. REUTERS/Shamil...
AKESPE, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A ruined ship lays on a salinated part of the Aral Sea coastline near the village of Akespe. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWX
June 01, 2017
A villager ties a boat on the shore of the Aral Sea, at the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov...
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
A villager ties a boat on the shore of the Aral Sea, at the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IX7
June 01, 2017
Pallas seagulls fly over the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Pallas seagulls fly over the Aral Sea outside the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
KAZAKHSTAN-ARAL/
RTX38IWC
June 01, 2017
Erali Serimbetov, who was born in 1961, sits in front of his house surrounded by dunes at the remote...
KARATEREN, Kazakhstan
The Wider Image: Aral Sea: big fish is back in small pond
Erali Serimbetov, who was born in 1961, sits in front of his house surrounded by dunes at the remote part of the village of Karateren. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
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