Next Article in Journal
Factors Affecting Tufa Degradation in Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China
Previous Article in Journal
Modelling Extreme Wave Overtopping at Aberystwyth Promenade
Previous Article in Special Issue
Impact of Institutional Change on Irrigation Management: A Case Study from Southern Uzbekistan
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Water 2017, 9(9), 701; doi:10.3390/w9090701

The Current Status and Future of Central Asia’s Fish and Fisheries: Confronting a Wicked Problem

1
James Madison College, Michigan State University, 842 Chestnut Road, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
2
Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Michigan State University, 427 North Shaw Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
3
Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, 1066 Bogue Street, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
4
Department of Biodiversity and Bioresources, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, 71 Al-Farabi Avenue, Almaty 050040, Kazakhstan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Water Management in Central Asia)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2025 KB, uploaded 14 September 2017]   |  

Abstract

Central Asia’s arid lowland ecosystems are dependent on water that originates in nearby mountains and is carried by rivers to terminal lakes and freshwater seas with no outlets to the ocean. Fish traditionally thrived in these waterways, but they have become increasingly jeopardized by water impoundment and diversion for energy and crop production. Fish capture in the five new Central Asian republics consequently entered a period of long decline, a trend that was accelerated by removal of the centralized controls imposed by the former Soviet Union. Production levels have recovered during the past decade, but only in some countries. A similar trend is evident with aquaculture, which reached its lowest production levels in 2003–2008 but now is partially recovering. In both cases, progress is most evident in water-deficient Uzbekistan. Fish capture in Kazakhstan’s Ili River ecosystem, including Kapchagay Reservoir and Lake Balkhash, is now dropping precipitously. Effects on the lake’s fisheries have been magnified by the disproportionate rates of disappearance of valuable carp and pike-perch. The interrelationships between water, energy, and food underlie these threats to Central Asia’s fish and define a classic “wicked problem” that must be addressed regionally with explicit attention given to fish as important components of the ecosystem. Recent developments, although not all positive, give reason for cautious optimism that the region’s fisheries and aquaculture industries can be stabilized. View Full-Text
Keywords: Central Asia; Lake Balkhash; Ili River; inland fisheries; water-energy-food nexus; sustainable fisheries; aquaculture Central Asia; Lake Balkhash; Ili River; inland fisheries; water-energy-food nexus; sustainable fisheries; aquaculture
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Graham, N.A.; Pueppke, S.G.; Uderbayev, T. The Current Status and Future of Central Asia’s Fish and Fisheries: Confronting a Wicked Problem. Water 2017, 9, 701.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top