Turkish president vows to save sea from ‘sea snot’ outbreak

An aerial photo of Pendik port in Istanbul, Turkey
An aerial photo of Pendik port in Istanbul, Turkey (AP)
18:52pm, Sat 05 Jun 2021
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Turkey’s president has promised to rescue the Marmara Sea from an outbreak of “sea snot” that is alarming marine biologists and environmentalists.

A huge mass of marine mucilage, a thick, slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms, has bloomed in Turkey’s Marmara, as well as in the adjoining Black and Aegean Seas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said untreated waste dumped into the Marmara Sea and climate change had caused the sea snot bloom.

An aerial photo of Pendik port in Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey (AP)

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city with some 16 million residents, factories and industrial hubs, borders the sea.

Marine mucilage has reached unprecedented levels this year in Turkey

It is visible above the water as a slimy grey sheet along the shores of Istanbul and neighbouring provinces. Underwater videos showed suffocated coral covered with sea snot.

Mr Erdogan said he instructed the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation to coordinate with relevant institutions, municipalities and universities.

Pendik port in Istanbul (AP)

Teams are inspecting waste water and solid waste facilities, along with other potential sources of pollution, he said.

“We will save our seas from this mucilage calamity, leading with the Marmara Sea,” Mr Erdogan said. “We must take this step without delay.”

Marine experts say that human waste and industrial pollution is choking Turkey’s seas. They say the rise in water temperatures from climate change is contributing to the problem.

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