Turkey’s environment minister has vowed to defeat a plague of sea snot threatening the Sea of Marmara with a disaster management plan he says will secure its future.
A thick slimy layer of organic matter, known as sea slime, has spread across the sea south of Istanbul, posing a threat to marine life and the fishing industry.
Ports, shores and sea waters are covered with a viscous, grayish substance, some of which have also sunk beneath the waves, suffocating life on the seabed.
“We hope to work together to protect our Marmara as part of a disaster management plan,” Murat Kurum said on Sunday, speaking from a marine research vessel sampling the substance.
“We will take all the necessary steps within three years and implement together the projects that will save not only the present but also the future,” Kurum said, adding that he would soon give details of the action plan.
Scientists say the climate crisis and pollution have contributed to the spread of organic matter, which contains a wide variety of microorganisms and can thrive when nutrient-rich wastewater flows into seawater.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the epidemic for untreated water from cities, including Istanbul, where 16 million people live, and vowed to “clean our seas of the scourge of mucus.”