The dense, thin layer of mucus in the Marmara Sea near Istanbul is spreading, damaging marine life and the Turkish fishing industry.
“Sea mucus”, or sea mucus, is a natural green soil that forms when algae are high in nutrients as a result of hot weather and water pollution.
It was first discovered in Turkey in 2007, but was also recorded in the Aegean Sea near Greece. Experts say this is due to pollution and climate change.
‘A True Disaster’
The sea ice, which covers large parts of the Marmara Sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, is believed to be the largest in history and is wreaking havoc on local communities.
Ships crossing Marmara have to go through this mud, and some fishermen cannot work because this thin layer clogs their machinery and nets.
Divers also say that large numbers of fish and other species die of suffocation.
Peram Osturk, a professor at the Turkish Maritime Research Institute, warned that these problems would continue unless new investments were made to purify and treat Istanbul’s sewage.
“Many species, including oysters, mussels and starfish, are endangered due to mucus growth,” Osturk told the BBC. “It’s a real disaster.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to protect the country’s coast.
“Fortunately, we can save our seas from this mucilage,” Erdogan said.
The president said the problem was caused by rising temperatures and the dumping of untreated sewage into the sea.
The government sent a team of 300 people to study the potential sources of pollution.
“My fear is that it will spread to the Black Sea … the problem will be huge. We need to take this action without delay,” he said.
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