“Sea Snot” Slime 100 Feet Deep Endangering Marine Life Blamed On Household Waste

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Experts in Turkey are demanding action after large blankets of so-called “sea snot” clog its coastline, damaging the country’s marine life and fishing industry.

The thick, dark foamy substance, real name marine mucilage, occurs when algae is overloaded with nutrients due to hot weather and household and water pollution, all of which have increased in recent decades. .

Mud was first documented in Turkey in 2007, but experts believe it is the largest recorded case of mud.

The substance has now covered the shores of the Sea of ​​Marmara, which separates the Asian and European areas from the national capital of Istanbul.

“Of course, this affects our work,” fisherman Mahsum Daga, 42, told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

“Do you know what it does to seashells?” When they open, it prevents them from closing because it gets in the way. All the sea snails here are dead.

Professor Barış Salihoğlu, director of the Institute of Maritime Sciences at METU, said the sludge engulfed all the water from the surface to the bottom.

“We have seen a gel-like structure spread across the sea and we have never encountered such a large mass before,” he told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Friday.

Cevahir Efe Akcelik, environmental engineer and secretary general of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects, added to AFP: “

The mucilage has been unofficially referred to as ‘sea glanders’ and was first documented in Turkish waters in 2007.
YASIN AKGUL / AFP / Getty Images

SalihoÄŸlu said the increase in pollution and the lack of waste treatment worsened the situation, leading to a significant reduction in oxygen levels at sea.

“Agricultural waste, industrial waste pouring into the sea from deltas, tributaries particularly aggravated it.

“We need to at least halve pollution. Cleaning up pollution at least by half would bring oxygen levels back to normal within five to six years. We need patience and quick action,” he said. he adds.

SalihoÄŸlu said local sewage treatment plants need to be improved to prevent further incidents of sea glanders, as well as reduce pollution in nearby rivers.

Muharrem Balci, professor of biology at Istanbul University, also warned that the mucilage now covers the surface of the sea “like a tent canvas,” which could have a devastating effect on marine life as the oxygen lack of oxygen and mussels and other sea creatures such as crabs are poisoned. .

“He will smell like a rotten egg if this process is not stopped,” Balci told AFP.

Tahsin Ceylon, a local filmmaker who is making a documentary on snot in the sea, told Sky News: “The fate of the Sea of ​​Marmara is the result of what humans have done. It is the result of household waste and pollution.

“The only thing to do is not to throw your garbage in the sea. I think nature doesn’t deserve this.”

Dr Mustafa Sarı, dean of the maritime faculty of Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University, who studies the economic effects of marine glanders, previously said that the increase in mucus is proof that the world has to adapt to the increase. sea ​​temperatures.

“We are experiencing the visible effects of climate change, and adaptation requires an overhaul of our usual practices,” he said. The Guardian. “We need to embark on a large-scale adaptation effort.”

sea ​​snot
This aerial photograph taken on June 4, 2021 in the Sea of ​​Marmara in Turkey at a port on the Istanbul coastline shows mucilage, a layer of jelly mud that grows on the surface of the water due to overgrowth of phytoplankton, seriously threatening marine biomes.
YASIN AKGUL / AFP / Getty Images


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