Waste management should be reviewed to avoid mucilage: Experts

Waste management should be reviewed to avoid mucilage: Experts

Gökhan Karakaş - ISTANBUL
Waste management should be reviewed to avoid mucilage: Experts

Turkey’s waste management policy should be renewed, and the treatment systems should be operated at full efficiency so that the marine mucilage invasion in the Marmara Sea would not happen again, according to experts.

A thick and slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms has surfaced in the Marmara Sea in late May 2021, causing local fishermen to end the fishing season 21 days earlier and deeply hurt the tourism activities last year.

Marine biologists, environmentalists and officials continue to make efforts to address significant public concern.

Mustafa Sarı, the dean of Onyedi Eylül University’s Maritime Faculty and who often dives into the Marmara Sea to examine the environmental damage, said that the cold and clean water from the Black Sea was very effective in the dispersal of the mucilage.

Stressing that climate change in the Marmara Sea has increased the pollution load due to its temperature and stagnant structure, Sarı pointed out that the society should place its relationship with the sea on an ecologically based axis.

“If we do not want to experience the wrong waste management policy, climate change and ecological disasters when combined with the original structure of the Marmara Sea, we should adopt a brand-new waste management policy,” Sarı said.

However, Professor Neslihan Özdelice, a hydrobiologist from Istanbul University, stated that it would not be enough to end the deep discharge into the Marmara Sea.

“In all discharges, healthy and fully efficient treatment systems should be applied. Mucilage does not develop for a single reason. Climatic changes are related to pollution, overfishing and degradation of coastal areas,” Özdelice said.