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Near the shores of Lake Maracaibo, which helped give birth to Venezuela's oil industry a century ago, thousands of tons of shrimp are being harvested from fields of man-made ponds, most of which end up on dinner tables across the globe.

Near the shores of Lake Maracaibo, which helped give birth to Venezuela's oil industry a century ago, thousands of tons of shrimp are being harvested from fields of man-made ponds, most of which end up on dinner tables across the globe.

Photographer: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg

Life After Oil Arrives in Lake That Minted Hundreds of Billions of Dollars

Along Lake Maracaibo, Venezuelans come to grips with a post-oil reality and start carving out new business ventures.

Lake Maracaibo is, in many ways, the unlikeliest of homes for a burgeoning shrimp farm industry. After a century of relentless oil drilling, much of it carried out in a reckless and haphazard manner in the final years, its surface is stained by petroleum slicks and choked with rusted-out rigs that stretch high into the sky.

And yet, it is fitting that it is here, in the shadow of the lake that produced hundreds of billions of dollars for government coffers and once made Venezuela one of the richest nations on Earth, that a picture of the country’s post-oil economy is beginning to take shape.