Experts warn of oxygen-starved Marmara Sea
ISTANBUL - Demirören News Agency
Following a voyage to determine the effects of pollutants in the Marmara Sea, a team of 11 sailors and nine scientists has warned that the oxygen at the lowest layers of the sea is at the level of complete depletion.
Water samples were taken at certain meters of the sea on the first day of the expedition with the ship provided by the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK).
Stating that the oxygen in the upper layer of the sea was at a normal level, Sabri Mutlu, the chief expert of the team, said, “The amount that should be around two milligrams for living things to survive in the lower layer was recorded as zero.”
“The oxygen in the lower layer of the sea has reached the level of extinction,” Mutlu said, noting that if it goes below zero, anaerobic respiration will begin and a hydrogen sulfide layer may begin to form, similar to the one at the bottom of the Black Sea.
As the depth increases, that is, away from the atmospheric effect, the condition of the water deteriorates, which means we have to protect the Marmara Sea, the expert added.
“We can immediately analyze some of the seawater samples in the onboard laboratory, but we freeze some of them and take them to our laboratory in the institution for the analyzes that cannot be carried out on the ship,” said environmental engineer Ersan Kuzyaka, one of the experts on the ship.
The expeditions aim to evaluate the pollution by conducting seawater and zooplankton sampling studies, Kuzkaya said.
The pollution indicators of the sea may vary, Kuzyaka said, adding, “The detection of a species that has not existed before in the Marmara Sea is a sign of new biological pollution.”
The team, which embarked on the expedition with the wet, dry, biology, temperature-controlled and computer laboratories, will take samples from 150 points of the Marmara Sea and conduct examinations in the laboratories for 14 days.