Marmara Sea threatened by reckless industrialization
ISTANBUL – Daily News with wires | 6/5/2011 12:00:00 AM |
Rapid industrialization and high population density in northwestern Turkey, have turned the Sea of Marmara into 'the region’s cesspool.'
Rapid industrialization and high population density in northwestern Turkey, alongside the lack of appropriate water treatment facilities in the area, have turned the Sea of Marmara into “the region’s cesspool,” according to an environmental organization’s chief.
“When you take the land route from Istanbul to Bursa you will see that the cute little fishing towns of 30-40 years ago have been transformed into industrial towns. Factories have been built right next to the sea. To what extent do these facilities have access to waste water treatment? Who supervises them, and how tight are the inspections?” said Murat Demir, the head of Turkish Natural and Environmental Conservation Association, or DOĞADER.
Biodiversity and existing fish populations in the Marmara Sea basin were also experiencing sharp declines as the number of industrial facilities built on its shores has mushroomed at an ever-accelerating rate, Demir said. Heavy metals and a whole assortment of chemicals were being dumped into the sea both by industrial plants, as well as residential households, he said, according to the Anatolia news agency, or AA.
“Turkey’s biggest shipyards have all been erected in the Marmara Region. Ship dismantling facilities, which contain cancerous materials in particular, have also been placed around the Sea of Marmara. The number of shipyards is proliferating with each passing day,” Demir further pointed out.
Redistributing the industrial density of the Marmara Sea basin across the whole of Turkey, and removing factories built right on shore were essential in combating growing sea pollution, Demir said. They were not against industrialism, but state of the art purification plants had to be set up in the area regardless of their cost.