Parliament sets up commission on mucilage as efforts continue
A parliamentary decision on the establishment of a commission to investigate the causes of the mucilage problem in Turkish seas and to determine measures to be taken has been published in the Official Gazette.
The commission that will carry out the research will be composed of 19 members, the working period of the commission will be three months, and will be stationed outside of Ankara if necessary, according to the decision.
Turkish authorities this week announced a 22-point action plan to clear a surge of mucilage, which covers several parts of the Marmara Sea.
Amid a recent rise in mucilage lining parts of Turkey’s northwestern coast, a vessel took off from Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa Port on June 10 to conduct a comprehensive research on the phenomenon, also known as sea snot.
Having high technology, biology and chemistry laboratories on the board, the ship detects the amount of mucilage in the Marmara Sea through plankton nets, seawater samplers and water turbidity sensors.
Embarked on the four-day expedition, the 12-person research team lowered a device containing water sampler tubes and various sensors to the bottom of the sea with the help of a steel communication wire.
While the sensor in the device detected intense turbidity at the seabed, the research team found that the mucilage was in a state of suspension in water at a depth of 10-30 meters in the Marmara Sea.
“Mucilage has occupied every part of the Marmara Sea,” said Hasan Örek, an academic in the research team, adding that the mucilage under the sea will rise to the surface after a while and then merge on the shores with the effect of the wind and form a white cover.
“Toxicological tests of the mucilage will be carried out and its harm to the environment will be investigated. We will compare the data we obtained from this expedition with the previous ones and find out if there is an increase or decrease,” Örek noted.
Meanwhile Turkish teams collected over 1,197 cubic meters of mucilage from the Marmara Sea over the past four days, said the environment and urbanization minister on June 12.
In a statement, Murat Kurum said operations to clear the sea of the substance are ongoing at 77 locations, adding that the collected mucilage had been sent for disposal.
Participating in the mucilage cleaning efforts, the Turkish Navy also formed technical committees to determine the possible effects of the phenomenon on ships in the navy.
The committees continue their investigations at the Shipyard Command in the northwestern province of Kocaeli’s Gölcük district.
It is expected that the report to be created by the delegations will be submitted to the Defense Ministry and a course of action will be developed according to the report.