Turkey’s Sea of Marmara experiences the largest outbreak of “sea snot” on record


A large amount of thick, viscous, mucus-like substance known as marine mucilage or sea snot (phytoplankton bloom) is covering the coastline of the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul, Turkey, threatening marine life and the local fishing industry. Sea snot is caused by the overgrowth of phytoplankton — microscopic marine algae — due to pollution.

Sea snot was first reported in the Maramar Sea in 2007 but the latest outbreak is thought to be the largest in history, local media report.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said the cause of the latest increase in phytoplankton coating the surface of the Maramar Sea is unrefined wastewater discharged into the sea, adding that he had instructed Environment Minister Murat Kurum to lead the resolution of this issue.

Erdogan also said the problem could spread to the Black Sea.

With a team of 300 people, the ministry is currently carrying out inspections at 91 different points of the Sea of Marmara, as well as all wastewater refinement and solid waste facilities on land, to detect the source of the pollution, he said.

Featured image: Tahsin Ceylan


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