The shrinking of the Aral Sea is one of the planet’s worst environmental tragedies. It was the fourth-largest lake in the world, between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Its shrinking started around the 1960s, due to the divert of two rivers which fed it to irrigate cotton crops. The salinity increased, killing its natural flora and fauna and losing 90% of its surface. Fishing industry declined impoverishing the region. Some years ago Kazakhstan decided to restore the northern area and in 2005 the Kokaral dam was completed. As a result of that salinity dropped and fishing is viable again.