"If all the delegations, from all over
the world, had each brought a bucketful of water, this water,
together with our tears, would have filled the Aral Sea". (heard
in 1991 in Aral-region). It is correct that the situation in and
around the Aral Sea has been examined and analysed from experts
since 1965. Many reports have been written, and lots of
conferences have been held about the problem. So far nothing has
But since June 1994 there is a change. The
UN, The World Bank and many western governments (among them the
Danish) have iniciated an ambitious project to improve the
conditions for the people around Aral, and maybe even restore some
part of the sea itself by building a dam between "Little-"
and "Big Aral". These plans are very expensive (1 1/2
mia. US$ for the first phase in a 25 years program) and
wide-ranging. The programme focuses on social- and health problems
in the region and the problem with how to get more water to Aral
by repairing the channel-system of "Syr-Darya" River.
But in the two (from originally 19)
remaining fishery co-operatives in the Little Aral-region there
are important problems that need less wide-ranging solutions.
These people have been waiting for Aral to improve since 1975, and
they have still got the hope. Lots of families now depend on
"nomadic fishery" (in Balkhas), but they have, as they
say, been looking in the horizon, knowing that Aral would one day
return. Justice claims that these fishermen should catch the first
sturgeon in Aral.
THE DANISH/KAZAK PROJECT.
This project is intended to focus on the
Aral problems from "a fishermans point of
view", and it will try to provide some
assistance to daily life for the communities mentioned above. In
the summer of 1994 a Danish delegation visited the Northern part
Sea-region, supported by the private Danish
foundation "Solhvervsfonden". The idea was mainly to
establish and extend already existing contacts in the area, and
thus prepare a more detailed and specific programme for
co-operation between Denmark and the Aral fishermen. The
assistance that we can provide, specifically in the
Kazalinsk-Aralsk-Djambul area seems to be this (divided in two
Phase 1 : August/September 1995.
The establishing of contacts between the
Aral people of fishery, and the Danish fishery industry and
organisations, public institutions and environmental organisations
etc. We imagine a 14-20 days visit in Denmark from leaders and
chairmen from Aral-region:
-The chairman of "Reim" and "Kysylsjar"
kolkhoz Mr. Daukara Aimagambetov.
-The chairman of "Djambul" kolkhoz
Mr. Zanobaj Khabanov.
-The chairman of the fishery factory in
Aralsk, Mr. Adilbek I. Aimbetov.
-The mayor of Aralsk, Mr.
-The chairman of the Kazakh fishery
Institute in Balkhas Mr. Vjageslav Tsoi.
-Leader of the Institute of Micro Biology,
Almaty University Mr. Makhambet Tairov. (Kazakh organizer and
It is our belief that this delegation would
represent the optimum contact in the Northern Aral-region, in
order to make detailed arrangements (concerning "Phase
2") and establish contacts that we can not yet foresee.
We will apply for financial support for this
visit at the Danish foundation of democracy
("Demokratifonden"). During the visit it will be
discussed, and an agreement will be made, how to carry out Phase 2
of the project. For this purpose there will be arranged a number
of meetings with a wide range of firms and organisations,
including DANIDA (department of the Danish Foreign Ministry).
Phase 2: April 1996.
One of the major problems in the area is the
lack of fishing equipment. In the summer of 1994 there was an
interest among the Djambul-fishermen for the Danish-seine fishing
("Snurrevod"), which is especially fit for the cathing
Phase 2 is meant to offer the Aral fishermen
an opportunity to encounter this typical Danish way of fishing and
purchase some equipment suitable for the specific needs in the
region. (We are aware that this project cannot exterminate all
equipment-problems in the area). The idea is to invite about 12
people from the fishery communities and from industry in Aralsk.
They will stay in Denmark for a month, and there will be a
complete programme especially concerning catching, preparation and
distribution of fish in Denmark.
We will apply at DANIDA for the financing of
this phase. Further details for the visit will, as mentioned, be
arranged during the 1995 visit, and in the time between the two.
RESPONSIBLE PERSONS AND ORGANISATIONS.
The responsible in Kazakhstan is mr.
Makhambet M. Tairov, in co-operation with the representatives of
the 1995-delegation. Mr.Tairov has a broad knowledge about the
fishery situation in Kazakhstan, and about the situation in
The responsible in Denmark is mr. Kurt
Bertelsen Christensen (KBC) in co-operation with the Danish
organisation "Denmark-Kazakhstan society" and the
"Fiskerikollektivet af 1978". KBC is a former fisherman
with experience in Kazakhstan and the former Sovjet Union. In 1991
he visited Aral-region, and the society was founded and KBC is
committee member. Since 1991 Kazakh groups have been invited to
Denmark and Danish groups to Kazakhstan. From 1988-1993 KBC worked
in the Fiskerikollektiv, arranging, among other things,
exhibitions in Poland, The Baltic states and Russia and
conferences in Denmark for people around The Baltic Sea.
Adr. and phone in Denmark :
"Fiskerikollektiv af 1978",
Lundenvej 7, 8585 Glęsborg. Phone +45 86387725