Saving steps

the Aral Sea, formerly the world's fourth-largest inland sea with an area of 65,000 sq km may not die after all ( Down To Earth, Vol 4, No 12). Kazakh fisherfolk believe that a 16-km-long dam built across Aral Sea, mainly separating Aral Sea Minor (northern part of the Sea) from Aral Sea Major (southern part of the Sea) would help in the creation of a 15,000 sq km freshwater lake.

This would help in Aral Sea Minor turning so fresh that species earlier inhabiting the Sea would return, presume the fisherfolk, who disregard statements that their Sea has become an ecological disaster. They await assistance from the un and World Bank and other donor countries to see through their plan. Meanwhile, Danish fisherfolk have provided assistance in the form of seine net fishing equipment to catch flounder species of fish from the saline Aral Sea Major, in a bid to revive the ailing fishing industry in Kazakhstan. Flounders were released into this Sea some 10 years ago and today their population is estimated at about 50,000 tonnes of which some 10-20 per cent can be harvested.

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