- The Aral Sea
Moynaq encapsulates more visibly than anywhere else the
absurd tragedy of the receding Aral Sea. Once one of the
sea's two major fishing ports, it now stands some 40km
(25mi) from the water. What remains of Moynaq's redundant
fishing fleet lies rusting on the sand, beside depressions
marking the town's futile efforts to keep channels open
to the receding water. The town's shrunken population
of 2000 souls now suffers the full force of the Aral Sea
disaster, with hotter summers, colder winters, debilitating
sand, salt and dust storms, and a gamut of health problems.
The town remains a tragic monument to the conscious environmental
havoc wreaked by the Soviet Union's policies in Central
Moynaq is 210km (130mi) north of Nukus - take a taxi or
a bus between the two towns. To get to Nukus, take a daily
train or bus from Tashkent.