Turkey is facing the “sea mucus” that has infested the Sea of Marmara for a week and has already spread to the Black Sea. A huge whitish, dense and gelatinous mass floats on the waters that bathe cities like Istanbul and experts warn of the dangers of this phenomenon whose scientific name is “marine mucilage”, destroys flora and fauna, forces the closure of beaches and makes navigation difficult and fish because it clogs engines and nets. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised “urgent solutions” and his words were orders for a government that has announced a 22-point plan to try to clean up what is already considered “the largest outbreak in history” of sea mucus., according to media such as the BBC network. The Minister of the Environment, Murat Kurum, has set a period of three years to prevent such a disaster from happening again and has deployed 300 people to analyze the sources of the contamination.
This phenomenon was first detected in Turkish waters in 2007, but experts assure that it is increasingly widespread in the Mediterranean and that has even reached the North Sea and Australia, according to research by a team of biologists from the Polytechnic University of Marche and the University of Trieste who think that “one of the reasons may be the increase in sea surface temperature.” In addition to the effect of climate change, in the Turkish case, Erdogan pointed to the discharge of sewage from large cities such as Istanbul as another cause. This kind of natural sludge forms when algae are overloaded with nutrients.
«Water pollution is one of the keys, especially due to the excessive use of nitrogen and phosphorous used for the production of tea and hazelnuts », Mehmet Aydın, a professor at Ordu University’s Faculty of Marine Sciences, told the local DHA agency. The shock plans presented by the Ministry of the Environment were well received by the experts, but the president of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers (ÇMO), Ahmet Dursun Kahraman, stressed on the BBC network that “the problem is not in making plans, the problem is to implement them. In statements to this same medium, the marine biologist, Mert Gökalp, regretted that he had been warning about this danger for years without anyone paying attention to him and asked “to impose significant fines” on those companies that “They do not implement waste management at all hours of the day”.