Kara-Bogaz-Gol is a lowland area that forms a highly saline bay on the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkmenistan. In Soviet times it was decided to set up a dam to block the flow of saline water from the bay to the Caspian Sea, and this was completed in 1980. The ensuing increase in the salt content of the southern part of the Caspian Sea, to levels exceeding 15 grams per litre, had disastrous consequences for the sturgeon population. In the spring of 1992, in view of the scale of the disaster, Turkmenistan, which had just declared its independence, decided to recover the bay of Kara-Bogaz-Gol from the desert. It therefore destroyed the dam, restoring the connection between the sea and the gulf, and the bay has since recovered in water level and size.
From collection: Vital Caspian Graphics
Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal