Turkey, Environment

More than 2,100 cubic meters of sea mucilage collected in Turkey

Operations to clear sea of mucilage ongoing at 137 locations, says environment minister

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 14.06.2021
More than 2,100 cubic meters of sea mucilage collected in Turkey

ANKARA 

Turkish teams collected a total of 2,166 cubic meters (61,334 cubic feet) of mucilage from the Sea of Marmara over the past six days, said the environment minister on Monday.

Murat Kurum said on Twitter that operations to clear the sea of the substance, also known as sea snot, are ongoing at 137 locations, adding that the collected mucilage had been sent for disposal.

The northwestern Yalova province, Istanbul, and the western province of Balikesir are among the cities where most of the mucilage has been cleared.

Kurum said that the sea is monitored 24/7 by the authorities with satellite tracking systems and daily challenges are responded to immediately.

Environmental laboratories also run analyses on collected mucilage samples.

Meanwhile, a lecturer at Kastamonu University's faculty of fisheries told Anadolu Agency that the mucilage is produced by phytoplankton and "the density of phytoplankton can be reduced by 40% to 70% with the cultivation of mussels in waste areas."

"We can use mussels as biofilters," Soner Bilen said.

Last week, Turkish authorities announced a 22-point action plan to clear a surge of mucilage, which covers parts of the Sea of Marmara in the country's northwest.

The mucilage -- mostly accumulated in Mudanya, Gemlik Bay, Gebze and its surroundings, the coastal areas of Istanbul’s Anatolian side, and around the Princes' Islands -- also partially covered the shores of the Sea of Marmara.

The substance covering the central coast of the northwestern Yalova province was dispersed by the wind to coastal areas of the Cinarcik and Armutlu districts as well as the town of Esenkoy, which are important touristic hubs.

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