Turkey vows to solve sea snot problem in Marmara Sea
“We'll save our seas, especially the Sea of Marmara, from this mucilage problem," Erdoğan said at a mass opening ceremony on the occasion of World Environment Day in Istanbul.
Mucilage, also known colloquially as Sea snot, is the overgrowth of microscopic algae called phytoplankton. The thick, mucus-like slimy layer contains a variety of microorganisms and is caused by an increase in seawater temperature due to global warming, stillness at sea, and pollution.
Non-refined wastewater discharged into the sea was the cause of the latest increase in the substance coating the surface, Erdoğan said, adding that he had instructed Environment Minister Murat Kurum to deal with the issue.
He said the problem would be resolved without waiting for other authorities, such as the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, to take action.
"As the Environment and Urbanization Ministry, you will coordinate this work, and we'll save our seas, especially the Marmara, from this mucilage trouble by joining hands with the universities," said the president.
Erdoğan also noted that the problem could spread to the Black Sea, too, and that they would act before it is late.
"The increase in the sea temperature due to climate change has also contributed considerably to this scene," he said.
Minister vows to recover Marmara Sea in 3 years
Turkey’s environment and urbanization minister vowed on June 6 to take the necessary precautions and recover the Marmara Sea in three years, just before attending the “Marmara Sea Action Plan Coordination Meeting” in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.
“We will save the Marmara Sea with steps taken in three years,” Murat Kurum said, noting that they recently conducted a workshop which some 700 scientists attended and shared information.
Visiting the Bilim-2 research ship floating on the Marmara Sea, the minister highlighted that Erdoğan supports all of their environmental projects.
“We have samples of 91 spots of the Marmara Sea. We will not leave the Marmara to its destiny. We will take steps to cure the Marmara,” Kurum noted.
“We will also open a website which will cover all the developments. The public will learn about every move made,” he added.
According to the experts, the coasts of the Yalova province, Istanbul and its Princes’ Islands, the Gebze district in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, the districts of Mudanya and Gemlik in the northwestern province of Bursa and the Erdek district in the Balıkesir province are the places covered with mucilage the most.
Erol Kesici, a scientific adviser at the Turkish Association for the Conservation of Nature (TTKD), said on June 5 that the Marmara Sea can be recovered within five years if measures were taken today.