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Books: Disaster looms for Cambodia's Tonle Sap Lake

Once bountiful, 'world's largest inland fishery' nears ecological collapse

Homes and stores line a main thoroughfare in one of the Tonle Sap's largest floating villages. (Photo by Brian Eyler)

In her new book "Troubling the Water: A Dying Lake and a Vanishing World in Cambodia," journalist Abby Seiff explores the perils facing the world's largest inland fishery -- Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. The lake, which awed ancient Chinese emissaries and European explorers with its vast size and bottomless fish population, is now at risk of ecological failure.

If it collapses, so will Cambodia's main source of protein, and possibly the livelihoods of tens of millions of people living in throughout mainland Southeast Asia. Seiff uses the power of storytelling to chronicle the communities caught in the vicious cycle of bad governance, upstream dams and climate change that is undoing the lake's mightiness.

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