Jellyfish rising in Bosphorus Strait raise concerns

Jellyfish rising in Bosphorus Strait raise concerns

Jellyfish rising in Bosphorus Strait raise concerns

Istanbul is witnessing a rise in the number of jellyfish on its shores, especially in the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Aegean Sea to the Marmara Sea, due to strong winds drawing ocean currents.

“There is a high concentration of jellyfish off Arnavutköy and Sarayburnu,” said Melek İşinibilir Okyar, an academic from Istanbul University.

“The reason why such a massive number of jellyfish can be seen in Bosphorus is due to the strong northeastern and southeastern winds. Due to the current, there is an accumulation of jellyfish in the strait,” she added.

Noting that jellyfish seen in the Marmara Sea are harmless and they are unlikely to come into contact with humans due to the winter season, the academic underlined the presence of dangerous species that were spotted in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea.

Climate change has affected water temperatures in the Mediterranean, and that has facilitated the crossing of alien and tropical species to Turkish waters, according to the expert.

Since the 2016 opening of an expansion to the Suez Canal, more invasive species have started emerging in Turkish waters.

Due to the expansion, an increase in seawater temperatures and maritime traffic, including other such factors, are affecting the ecosystem.

Okyar also added that the high density of jellyfish is becoming a matter of grave concern for fishermen in the region.