New mucilage to form in Marmara Sea: Expert

New mucilage to form in Marmara Sea: Expert

Fatma Aksu - ISTANBUL
New mucilage to form in Marmara Sea: Expert

All conditions are set for the formation of new mucilage in the Marmara Sea considering the latest photos, according to Mustafa Sarı, a member of the Mucilage Science Board and a professor from Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University.

“When you look at Bandırma Bay, for example, you see three different colors, brown, turquoise and dark green.”

“All three result from the overgrowth of different algal groups, which means new mucilage is ready to form in the sea,” Sarı said.

“Marmara Sea Action Plan is a very appropriate plan,” said Sarı, adding that more effort is required to lighten the sea.

“Streams continue to carry poison to the sea, and every day a new creek comes before us with terrible images, which means we need to do more inspections.”

“On the other hand, we definitely need to embody individual efforts; however, no national campaign has been launched so far,” he added.

The professor also pointed out that municipalities and industrial organizations are given three years to make plans to reduce pollution sources. “But the sea does not have three years, the ecosystem still suffers.”

The danger of mucilage, which invaded and heavily affected the marine ecosystem of the Marmara Sea last summer, may return, as blocks of a new form of sea snot have started to appear off the coasts of Istanbul, Sarı urged on April 26.

“We said before that mucilage can come back again. Unfortunately, it is seen now on some parts of the Marmara Sea,” he said.

“It would be wrong to wait for changes in results unless we sweep the causes. Three things trigger the formation of mucilage, high water surface temperature, pollution sources and original structure of the Marmara Sea.”

Sarı had pointed out that there is a difference in the formation of this year’s mucilage.

“Last year, the mucilage occurred on the water column, then rose to the surface. This year, the mucilage did not form on the water column,” he said. “The Marmara Sea has no time; we need national campaigns to protect it.”

I have seen that the mucilage on the rocks in the sea have vanished and new sponges have emerged on the sands of the seabed, Sarı also noted on May 9.

“I have made regular dives into the Marmara Sea between June 2021 and this April. In this period, I never saw any sponge formation on the seabed,” the professor said.

“However, recently, I have photographed some new sponges on the seabed.”

Surfacing on the Marmara Sea in May 2021 and invading a large area in June the same year, the mucilage alarmed marine biologists, environmentalists, and eventually, officials.

The 22-article Marmara Sea Action Plan, unveiled on June 6, 2021, includes steps to be taken in the short, medium and long-terms.

Necessary actions will be taken, including the implementation of the plan, and that work will be completed within three years with a vision to end the mucilage problem in the Marmara Sea, Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Murat Kurum said on Nov. 17, 2021.