We will clean entire Sea of Marmara: President Erdoğan
In the face of a recent mucilage threat, Turkey will clean up the entire Marmara Sea in part by declaring it a protected conservation area, the Turkish president said on June 9.
“By declaring the entire Marmara Sea a Conservation Area, bringing the most advanced technology to our wastewater treatment systems, and taking all other necessary steps, we will clean the Marmara,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group.
The nation will protect Turkey’s coasts from the threat of pollution with the support and contributions of science, he added.
“We’re also completing our strategic plan, which includes our roadmap for a permanent solution to the mucilage issue, within three months,” he said.
Erdoğan also reiterated that the AKP’s parliamentary group plans to form an inquiry committee to investigate the issue of mucilage in the Marmara Sea.
“If it is our responsibility to make up for the shortcomings of institutions that cannot do their job, regardless of their party, we will not hesitate to do what is needed,” he said.
Turkey on June 8 launched its largest and most comprehensive sea cleaning mobilization yet to save the Marmara Sea from a plague of mucilage.
Based on the 22-point action plan announced by the Environment and Urbanization Ministry on June 6, authorities started a comprehensive cleaning campaign in the Marmara provinces.
Within the scope of this massive campaign, mucilage collected with the help of vacuum trucks is being taken to treatment facilities.
“Today, we are starting the country’s biggest campaign movement. The Marmara Sea will remain a protected area until the end of this year,” Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said in a ceremony held in the Caddebostan beach in Istanbul.
According to ministry officials, the Marmara Sea will be a “clean sea” again within five years.
Separately, a Turkish academic in an Australian university indicated that fight against the mucilage could only be won with bacteriophage.
Reminding that some coasts of Australia were under attack of the mucilage in 2007, 2008 and 2013, İpek Karaböke, a microbiologist from Sunshine Coast University, advised not to use scoop nets while collecting sea snot.
“The scoop nets may cause worse situations. As they are not sterile, the bacteria may spread to a larger area,” said Karaböke in her interview with Turkish media.
The solution is the use of bacteriophage, a virus-eating bacterium, she added.
According to the expert, Australia solved the problem by spreading the virus-eating bacteria to the sea “to eat the mucilage.”