Aegean islands face risk of mucilage amid tourism season

Aegean islands face risk of mucilage amid tourism season


Marine mucilage, which has been plaguing the Marmara Sea over the recent months, has also been observed in the northern Aegean Sea, especially around Gökçeada and Bozcaada, two islands off the shores of the northwestern province of Çanakkale.

While a clean-up campaign launched by the government last week collected more than 5,000 cubic meters of mucilage from the Marmara Sea, a photo from a beach in Gökçeada showed a streak of mucilage plaguing the shore, spreading as far inland as the sand.

The mucilage also reached Bozcaada, which neighbors Gökçeada, appearing to cover the surface of the water in fishing ports.

Tourism professionals worry that marine mucilage is getting closer to the beaches in Turkey’s Aegean coast at a time when pandemic measures are gradually lifted as the phenomenon threatens the tourism sector.

Meanwhile, authorities started to use oxygenation technology to protect the sea from mucilage as experts note that cleaning up the mucilage will only be possible with extensive wastewater purification systems.

The aim is to increase the dissolved oxygen in the depths of the sea with advanced oxygenation devices.

Within the scope of the fight, devices were released into the Marmara Sea at five different points in the İzmit Bay and off the shore of Istanbul’s Pendik.