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挽救咸海:同一片湖泊里的不同命运

更新时间:2018-8-16 19:55:50 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The country that brought a sea back to life
挽救咸海:同一片湖泊里的不同命运

For a young Madi Zhasekenov, summertime on the shoreline of the Aral Sea was an idyllic affair. His three-month school holidays were spent at the port near his home in Aralsk, south-western Kazakhstan, interacting with fishermen hauling in their daily catch.

对小扎塞克诺夫(Madi Zhasekenov)而言,咸海 (Aral Sea)岸边的夏日十分悠闲。他家在哈萨克斯坦西南的阿拉尔斯克(Aralsk),附近有个码头,他和每天捕捞归来的渔民们聊聊天,就这样度过学校的三个月假期。

“We used to fashion fishing lures from hooks and then we would stand along the sea to catch fish,” says Zhasekenov, who is now 58. “I used to catch small and big fish, and we would feed the cats and dogs for fun.”

“以前我们会做点鱼饵挂在钩子上,然后在海边捕鱼,”现年58岁的老扎塞克诺夫说,“过去大鱼小鱼都能抓到,我们都用来喂猫喂狗、消遣消遣。”

But by the time he was 17, the water levels of the Aral Sea had dropped and the salinity had risen so rapidly that the freshwater fish that once thrived there could no longer survive. One of the hardest moments for Zhasekenov was when he realised that he needed to buy fish for his family’s daily meals.

但他17岁的时候,咸海的水位急速下降、盐度大幅上升,曾经繁衍生息的淡水鱼都活不下去了。对扎塞克诺夫而言,最艰难的一刻,是他发现为了家人的口粮,不得不去买鱼。

“We didn’t know how to buy a fish because we just always used to catch them,” he said. “The first time I went to the market to buy it, it was just a very bad feeling.”

“一直以来我们只抓鱼,所以都不知道怎么买鱼,”他说,“第一次去市场买鱼,感觉糟透了。”

At the opposite end of the Aral Sea, the residents of Moynaq – a robust fishing hub in northern Uzbekistan that employed more than 30,000 people – experienced a similar fate.

而咸海对岸的居民,他们的命运也差不多。这里是木伊那克(Moynaq),昔日繁华的渔业中心,位于乌兹别克斯坦东北,曾有三万人从事渔业工作。

“I was five or six the last time I saw ships in the sea when we went swimming,” says Marat Allakuatov, a 47-year-old former resident of Moynaq.

47岁的阿拉夸托夫(Marat Allakuatov)以前住在木伊那克。他说,“五六岁时我在咸海游泳,那是最后一次看到海里有船。”

Today, the seabed has completely dried out in the bustling city, leaving only sandy salt deposits and the rusting husks of abandoned fishing trawlers. The local economy has evaporated along with the water.

今天这个繁华的城市,海床已彻底干涸,只剩下沙盐沉积物,还有遗弃的拖网渔船锈烂的铁壳。当地经济也随着水位的下降一去不复返。

“As the sea disappeared, the people staying there became unemployed,” says Allakuatov. He now works in a hotel in Nukus, the capital of the republic of Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan that encompasses Moynaq. “The older generation officially lost their hope for the future.”

“咸海一消失,当地人都失业了,”阿拉夸托夫说。现在他在努库斯(Nukus)一家旅馆工作。努库斯是乌兹别克斯坦一个自治区——卡拉卡尔帕克斯坦(Karakalpakstan)的首府,木伊那克也在该区。“老一辈对未来彻底失去信心。”

With their fisheries decimated, the communities these two men are part of at opposite ends of the sea faced similar dire fates in the 1990s.

随着渔业衰亡,住在咸海周边的人们都遭遇了同样悲惨的命运。

But more than two decades on, their paths have diverged. Today, the North Aral Sea in Kazakhstan has been revived, with water and economy returning to Aralsk. But the South Aral Sea in Uzbekistan is almost completely desiccated, and its residents are choking on the air.

然而20多年后,两地却走出了不同的道路。今天,哈萨克斯坦境内的北咸海已经恢复,阿拉尔斯克的水位上升、经济复苏。然而乌兹别克斯坦境内的南咸海彻底干涸,居民在木伊那克喘不过气来。

How did the two cities have such different outcomes?

这两个城市为何会有截然不同的结局呢?

Back from the dead

死而复生

At more than 67,000 sq km (26,000 sq miles), the Aral Sea was once the fourth-largest freshwater lake in the world. But the Soviet Union’s uncompromising agricultural policies in the 1950s led to water from two rivers – the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya – being diverted away from the sea to irrigate Central Asia’s desert steppes to boost cotton production. Water levels dropped and the once abundant populations of bream, carp and other freshwater fish dwindled with them.

咸海面积超过67000平方公里(26000平方英里),曾经是世界上第四大淡水湖。然而苏联在上世纪50年代推行强硬的农业政策,通过阿姆河(Amu Darya)和锡尔河(Syr Darya),引咸海的海水灌溉中亚的荒漠草原,以提高棉花产量。水位下降,曾经产量丰富的鲷鱼、鲤鱼等淡水鱼也随之减少。

Today, the sea is a 10th of its original size and has almost split in two. Mimicking the shape of a splintered number eight, the North Aral Sea – the top half of the body of water – lies in Kazakhstan. The South Aral Sea, which consist of a strip of water in the west and a dried-out basin in the east, sits in Uzbekistan.

如今,咸海面积只有原来的十分之一,还被一分为二。北咸海是水体的上半部分,看起来像个支离破碎的数字8,位于哈萨克斯坦境内。而南咸海由西边的长条形水域和东边一个干涸的盆地组成,位于乌兹别克斯坦境内。

In the 1990s, both bodies of water seemed headed for similar outcomes. But that changed when the World Bank stepped in with an $87m (£66m) rescue project in Kazakhstan.

在20世纪90年代,南北咸海似乎还在走向同样的结局。然而,在世界银行介入哈萨克斯坦一项8700万美元的咸海恢复项目后,一切都不一样了。

This included constructing a 12km-long (7.5 mile) dyke across the narrow channel that connects the North Aral Sea to its neighbour to the south, with the aim of reducing the amount of water spilling out into the South Aral Sea. Improvements to existing channels of the Syr Darya river, which snakes northwards from Kazakhstan’s Tian Shan Mountains, also helped to boost the flow of water into the North Aral Sea.

该项目包括建造一条12千米(7.5英里)长的堤坝,横跨连接南北咸海的狭窄河道,以减少从北咸海流入南咸海的水量。同时,源自天山(Tian Shan)山脉、一路弯弯曲曲向北流的锡尔河(Syr Darya),其现有河道也得到改善,这也增加了汇入北咸海的水流量。

Finished in the summer of 2005, the Kokaral dam – as the dyke is known – surpassed the World Bank’s expectations, leading to an increase of 3.3m (10.8ft) in water levels after seven months, which scientists had previously calculated would take around 10 years.

2005年夏季竣工时,上面提到的堤坝——科卡拉尔(Kokaral)大坝的成就远超世界银行预期,7个月内就让水位上升了3.3米(10.8英尺)。而科学家们先前预测这要花10年才行。

“At that time, we were not expecting this much flow and the success has been astounding,” says Masood Ahmad, the World Bank team leader who prepared and appraised the project in 2001.

“当时,我们都没有想到水位升那么快,成果太惊人了。”2001年世界银行里负责准备和评估这个项目的小组负责人艾哈迈德(Masood Ahmad)说。

The return of the North Aral Sea has fuelled a revival of the fishing industry in Aralsk. In 2006, the annual fish catch totaled 1,360 tons, which comprised a majority of flounder – a saltwater species that the Kazakhs dislike. By 2016, the Aralsk Fish Inspection Unit recorded 7,106 tons of fish as freshwater species have returned, including pike-perch – which bring in a hefty price for local fishermen – breams, asp, and catfish.

北咸海水位的回归推动了阿拉尔斯克渔业的复兴。2006年,年捕鱼量达到1360吨,大部分是比目鱼,一种哈萨克人不喜欢的咸水鱼。到2016年,因淡水鱼类回归,阿拉尔斯克鱼类观察部门(Aralsk Fish Inspection Unit)记录到7106吨鱼,包括为当地渔民带来高收入的梭鱼,还有鲷鱼、海螺和鲶鱼。

Perhaps surprisingly, the Kazakh government played a key role in this recovery process.

也许你想不到,哈萨克斯坦政府在渔业复苏过程中扮演了至关重要的角色。

“Most governments usually give priority to generating incomes, like improving irrigation to increase crop production or water management so that they can supply water to cities,” says Ahmad. “Environment and ecology improvements are the last thing that governments give priority to, but the Kazakhs did it.”

“绝大多数政府通常先考虑创收,比如提高灌溉来提高庄稼产量,或者改善用水管理来为城市供水,”艾哈迈德说,“保护环境、改善生态是各国政府最不重视的事,但哈萨克斯坦政府却做到了。”

Changing fortunes

改变命运

For Aldanbek Kerinov, the return of the fisheries in the North Aral Sea has allowed him to change careers. He was a taxi driver seven years ago, pulling in 3,000 to 5,000 tenge (£7-11) a day.

对凯里诺夫(Aldanbek Kerinov)而言,北咸海渔业的恢复让他得以转行。7年前他是一名出租车司机,每天挣3000到5000坚戈(约7到11英镑)。

Now the 27-year-old works with his two brothers out on the lake. In sub-zero weather in February, they retrieved about 20kg (44lb) of pike-perch from their nets submerged under the frozen surface of the Aral Sea. Extremely popular among Kazakhs, this fish sells for roughly 650 tenge (£1.45) per kilogram to fish factories and buyers.

现如今他27岁,和两个兄弟在咸海上工作。二月份气温低于零度,他们通过撒在咸海冰面下的渔网捕捉到20千克左右的梭鲈。哈萨克斯坦人很爱吃这种鱼,能以650坚戈(1.45英镑)一公斤的价钱卖给鱼厂和顾客。

“In the winter, sometimes we will catch about 50,000 tenge [worth of fish] per person” in a single catch, explains Kerinov. “So it would be 150,000 tenge (£335) for the three of us. We prefer to catch even just one pike perch instead of driving a taxi.”

“冬天有些时候去捕鱼,我们每个人可以一趟赚到5万坚戈”,凯里诺夫解释道,“这样三个人就是15万坚戈(335英镑)。就算只抓到一条梭鲈,都比去开出租车好。”

Kerinov was too young to have seen the seawater lapping against the port walls of Aralsk. The shore currently sits about 20km (12 miles) from the town, which means a two-hour drive through the thick winter snow to reach it.

凯里诺夫太年轻了,都没有见过海水拍打阿拉尔斯克的码头墙。目前海岸离镇子约20公里(12英里)远,要在厚厚的雪地里开车两个小时才能到。

“We are dreaming that one day the sea would reach Aralsk so we don’t have to drive so far,” says Kerinov. “Every day, we would be able to go fishing just from our house.”

“我们希望有一天咸海能到阿拉尔斯克,这样就不用开那么远了,”凯里诺夫说,“希望每天都能从家里出门去捕鱼。”

According to Ahmad, this is a real possibility. Due to the improved water flow in the Syr Darya river, roughly 2.7 billion cubic metres (594 billion gallons) of water a year spills over the Kokaral dam and into the southern part of the sea.

而艾哈迈德说,这真的可能实现。锡尔河的水流量提升后,每年大概有27亿立方米的水从科卡拉尔大坝泄出去,流入南咸海。

“It spills over, it evaporates and it is lost,” he says. “It does not have as much ecological value or benefit. Since the Kokaral dam was built in 2005, over 30 billion cubic metres to date has spilled from the Northern Aral Sea.”

“水泄出去、蒸发,然后就没了,”他说,“没什么生态价值,也没效益。自从2005年科卡拉尔大坝建好后,到如今已有300亿立方米的水从咸海北部泄出去。”

Raising the dyke walls by another four metres would help to keep an additional 15 billion cubic metres of water in the North Aral Sea, he adds. This would extend the area covered by the sea, which currently measures 800sq km (300 sq miles), by another 400sq km (150 sq miles).

他还说,将堤坝再抬高4米有助于北咸海再增加150亿立方米的水量。这将使咸海海域从原来的800平方公里(300平方英里)再扩大400平方公里(150平方英里)。

“It will increase by 50%,” says Ahmad. “This will take about four, five years.”

“这就能再扩大一半,”艾哈迈德说,“还需要四、五年吧。”

Plans to do this were put forward as part of a second phase of the World Bank project, but it has recently stalled. According to the World Bank the project is currently awaiting approval from the Kazakh government to move forward.

这方面的计划曾作为世界银行项目第二阶段的一部分提出来过,但最近却停滞不前。据世界银行方面称,该项目目前在等哈萨克斯坦政府批准,以继续推进。

Across the border in Uzbekistan, the story is very different. While the World Bank has worked on some projects to restore the existing lakes around the South Aral Sea, such as Lake Sudoche, it has had less success. The main obstacle appears to be the demand that Uzbeks have for it, as the Amu Darya river flows are used upstream for agricultural purposes and does not have enough water flow to fill up the South Aral Sea.

乌兹别克斯坦的木伊那克曾经也在咸海拥有繁盛的渔业,如今却大相庭径。尽管世界银行也致力于一些修复南咸海周围现有湖泊的项目,如苏多什湖,却鲜少成功。主要障碍在于乌兹别克人的需求不同,阿姆河的水需要逆流用于农业灌溉,所以没有足够的水汇入南咸海。

Greater reliance on cotton production for income has also hindered attempts to restore the South Aral Sea to its former glory. From 1930 to 1990, Uzbekistan provided more than two-thirds of the cotton produced in the Soviet Union. It ranked fifth out of 90 cotton-producing countries, and it was the second-largest exporter of cotton fibre to the US. Today, Uzbekistan is still the fifth-biggest cotton exporter in the world after the US, India, Brazil, and Australia.

对棉花产量的过度依赖也阻碍了南咸海恢复昔日荣光。从1930年到1990年,乌兹别克斯坦生产的棉花占全苏联产量的三分之二还多。在全世界90个棉花生产国中,它排名第五,还是美国的第二大棉纤供货商。今天,乌兹别克斯坦仍然是仅次于美国、印度、巴西、澳大利亚的世界第五大棉花出口国。

“The government could have done the rehabilitation of the Southern Aral Sea but then they would have put a lot farmers who are using water for irrigation out of employment,” says Ahmad. “You cannot give up something that gives you income.”

“政府本来可以恢复南部咸海,但这样就会让大量依赖咸海水灌溉的农民失业,”艾哈迈德说,“你很难放弃那些能赚钱的东西。”

In 2015, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea completely dried up and the water never returned.

2015年,南咸海东部盆地彻底干涸,水位再也回不来了。

“It’s a pity,” laments Allakuatov. “I think the economic situation is more of a priority right now than keeping the water or nature or environment.”

“很遗憾,”阿拉夸托夫哀叹道,“比起对水源、自然、环境的保护,好像更需要优先考虑经济形势。”

Salt storms

盐尘风暴

There are still jobs available in Moynaq. The dried-up seabed has provided new opportunities for natural gas companies hoping to tap into the resources beneath the desiccated ground.

木伊那克还能创造别的工作岗位。干涸的海床为天然气公司提供了机会,他们希望能在这片干燥的土地里挖掘资源。

But although the exposed sea floor has allowed this new industry to hold unemployment in check, it is also creating new worries for the city’s residents.

暴露的海床让这种新产业控制了失业率,但还是给这个城市的居民们带来了新的忧虑。

With such a large body of water now greatly reduced in size, this has affected the climate in the region, changing temperatures and rainfall. The exposed seabed also contains a lot of salt and sediment, while the use of fertilisers by cotton producers over the decades has concentrated these harmful chemicals in the soil.

如此大的一个水体巨幅削减,已经影响了该地区的气候、温度和降雨量。暴露的海床包含大量的盐和沉积物,而且几十年来棉农一直在施肥,这些都让土壤中集聚了有害的化学物质。

When whipped up by strong winds, choking dust storms are formed, enveloping nearby settlements. Studies have linked sustained exposure to this dust to an increase in respiratory diseases in people living nearby.

刮大风的时候能形成令人窒息的沙尘暴,包围附近的居住地。研究发现,当地人呼吸道疾病的增加,和长期接触这种粉尘有关。

“There is dust coming up from the bed of the Aral Sea, so this salt is spreading everywhere – not only in the territory of Karakalpakstan, but also in the northwest part of Turkmenistan,” says Allakuatov. “The people are suffering from the salty land.”

“咸海海床产生了粉尘,这种盐粒到处扩散,不仅在卡拉卡尔帕克斯坦,还蔓延到土库曼斯坦的西北部,”阿拉夸托夫说,“人们正在遭受盐碱地之苦。”

Across the border in Aralsk, the sea continues to be at the centre of Zhasekenov’s life. As the director of the Aralsk Regional Museum and Fishermen Museum – a position he inherited from this late father – Zhasekenov knows every bit of history concerning the sea, and dreams of the water flowing back to the old port, where his museum is located.

越过阿拉尔斯克的边界,咸海仍然是扎塞克诺夫(Zhasekenov)生活的重心。他从已故的父亲那里继承了阿拉尔斯克地区博物馆和渔民博物馆馆长的职位。扎塞克诺夫知道关于咸海的每一段历史,还梦想着咸海重回博物馆所在的老港口。

For now, he is happy that the return of the North Aral Sea has revived some former pastimes, and remains optimistic that the sea will be restored to its previous glory.

如今,他很开心北咸海的恢复带回了不少过去的消遣,也很乐观地相信咸海能重获昔日荣光。

“Today, if I take a shortcut, the sea is only 14km (8.7 miles) away and I will be able to get to some fishermen’s home. There, the fishermen will give us some fish. This reminds me of my childhood,” he says. “I believe I will see the water in the port again.”

“今天,如果我抄近路,只需走14公里,就能到达咸海边一些渔民家里。在那儿,他们会给我一些鱼。这让我想起小时候。”他说:“我相信能重新在港口看到咸海。”

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