Fish caught from Marmara Sea safe to eat, say experts

Fish caught from Marmara Sea safe to eat, say experts

Fulya Soybaş – ISTANBUL
Fish caught from Marmara Sea safe to eat, say experts

There is no danger in consuming the fish caught from the Marmara Sea that was cleaned of mucilage in a nonstop operation in three months as authorities did not detect any risks after making countless tests, two experts have said.

“The Ministries of Health, Environment and Agriculture make tests frequently. If they would have concluded that the fish was poisoned by mucilage, they would have announced,” Mustafa Sarı from Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University told daily Hürriyet on Sept. 2.

“Online research is still continuing about the safety of consuming the fish obtained from the Marmara Sea,” said Firdevs Saadet Karakulak from Istanbul University.

The fishing ban that started on April 15 ended on Sept. 1, and the first seasonal fish species caught the most was the horse mackerel.

Highlighting that though the surface of the Marmara Sea has been cleaned, the danger is not over yet as the mucilage still exists in the deep, Sarı said, “Mucilage can show up once again in November.”

Mucilage or “sea snot” is the result of the overgrowth of microscopic algae called phytoplankton, which constitutes the first step of biological production in the sea. The thick, mucus-like slimy layer contains a variety of microorganisms.

Mucilage formation, which is a secretion released into seawater in response to changes and anomalies in sea conditions, requires a stagnant sea as well as a high amount of nitrogen and phosphorus contents.

“We need to give ear to the ecosystem so that we can leave clean seas to next generations,” Karakulak said.

She made a call to the fishery industry to obey the rules, saying, “Earlier, the amount of the fish caught in the Marmara Sea was around 80 tons, and now the number is around 24 tons.”

While Sarı, calling on the public, stressed not to give heed to false information and “freely consume” the fish obtained from the Marmara Sea.