ISTANBUL A thick, brown, bubbly foam nicknamed “sea mucus” has coated the shores of the Sea of Marmara, alarming Istanbul residents and elevating new environmental considerations.
The naturally occurring mucilage was first documented in Turkey in 2007, when it was additionally noticed in components of the Aegean Sea close to Greece. However this outbreak is the most important on document, attributed by consultants to a mix of air pollution and international warming, which accelerates the expansion of the algae chargeable for the slimy sludge. Affiliate Professor Muharrem Balci from Istanbul College mentioned that when algae develop uncontrolled in spring, as they’ve this yr, they block the solar and result in oxygen depletion of fish within the sea.
The goo that licks Istanbul’s shores comes from a type of nutrient overload for algae, which revel within the sizzling climate and water air pollution that has progressively worsened over the previous 40 years, Balci mentioned. This mucilage now covers the floor of the ocean like a tent tarp,” Balci informed AFP. After some time, this cowl collapses to the underside and covers the ecosystem (on the backside of the ocean).” This might poison sea mussels and creatures like crabs.
It would scent like a rotten egg except this course of is stopped,” he mentioned Motion plan Cevahir Efe Akcelik, an environmental engineer and secretary basic of the Union of Chambers of Engineers and Architects of Turkey, mentioned this foam may cowl the ocean all through the summer season except pressing motion is taken. Research present that the mucilage just isn’t solely on the floor now, nevertheless it additionally reaches a depth of 25 to 30 meters,” he informed AFP. The Sea of Marmara, which stretches alongside the southern coast of Istanbul from the Bosphorus to the Aegean Sea, is densely populated and residential to quite a few industrial websites.
Balci mentioned it additionally absorbs among the waste that flows into the neighboring Black Sea from the polluted Danube river that runs by way of jap Europe. That is a further burden on the Sea of Marmara,” mentioned Balci, calling for a collective motion plan for all coastal cities within the sea. Employees are attempting to take away the mud with nets, however up to now their efforts have confirmed largely ineffective.