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Overexploitation, Drought Destroying China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

Posted by feww on January 12, 2015

E. China’s Poyang Lake drying up!

Fed by the Gan, Xin, and Xiu rivers, the area of Poyang Lake fluctuates considerably between the wet and dry seasons; however, the average size of the lake has continued to shrink in recent years.

The lake area averages about 3,500 km² in a normal year, but it reached a low of under 200 km² in 2012, due to drought and the water intercepted for storage at the Three Gorges Dam.

Each year, up to a million migratory birds visit the vanishing lake, the largest freshwater lake in China.

During the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD) the lake area reached its greatest size of more than 6,000 km².

Poyang Lake is known as the “Bermuda Triangle of the East,” said a report.

Between early 1960s and late 1980s, more than 200 boats reportedly sank in the lake leaving a total of “1,600 people missing and 30 survivors who became mentally ill.”

“Among the boats missing in this area was one as large as 2,000 tons. It is documented that on Aug. 3, 1985, 13 boats had accidents in the Laoye Temple waters. The mystery is that those boats could not be recovered,” said the report.

east china lake
Original caption: A stone bridge relic of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is revealed on the bed of drought-affected Poyang Lake in east China’s Jiangxi Province, Dec. 30, 2014. Poyang Lake is renowned for its rich fishing resources, while in recent years, persistent drought and over-exploitation have endangered the lake’s resources. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun). More images…

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