During my very brief visit back home to the UK in July I visited the Purton Hulks on the Severn estuary .
The Purton hulks form the largest ships graveyard in the UK, beginning when several hulks were used in the early 20th century to shore up the bank between the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal and the River Severn, there are currently approximately 80 vessels located along the riverbank at Purton.
Moynaq was indeed once an important fishing town, but the water the city was once located on receded a long time ago. It was the ecological disaster of the Aral Sea, which turned this fishing port into a sunbaked town surrounded by the desert. The shrinking of the Aral Sea is considered one of the most severe anthropogenic ecological disasters of all time. Once one of the world’s four largest lakes, the Aral Sea has shrunk to 10 % of its former size since the 1960s.
No other city around the Aral Sea was affected by this disaster more severely than Moynaq. The water’s edge is now more than 150km away from the city, and the former fishing fleet of Moynaq sits in a surreal setting in the middle of the desert. It is a bizarre, almost post-apocalyptic experience to view bactrian camels roam around the rusting ships.