Istanbul, mucilage or sea snot

Dreaded marine mucilage reappears in Istanbul

The dreaded mucilage or sea snot, a substance that kills marine life that covered the seas of Turkey in 2021, has returned.

The dreaded marine mucilage or sea snot, which in 2021 covered a large part of the coasts of the Sea of ​​Marmara and other regions of Turkey, suffocating marine life, has reappeared a few days ago in Istanbul, making real a warning issued long ago by experts: actually, the so-called sea snot was never completely removed.

After having been seen on the coasts of the districts of Tuzla and Kadıköy, on the Asian shore of Istanbul, and although for now its density seems lower, scientists such as Professor Mustafa Sarı, a member of the Faculty of Marine Sciences at the 17 of September University of Bandırma (a Turkish city on the southern coast of the Marmara Sea), stressed that this is nothing more than a confirmation of his own projections, which had anticipated that the feared phenomenon would return in 2022.

After being sighted last February in small numbers off the Istanbul coast of Maltepe, south of Kadıköy, several scientists had warned that the phenomenon that devastated the Turkish coast last year would return, mainly because the historic sea cleaning operation carried out carried out in Turkey in 2021 only managed to remove the superficial marine mucilage, but not the denser mucilage that was still accumulated at the bottom of the sea.

“There is mucilage in different parts of the Marmara. Even if it’s not like the thick layer we saw last year, that doesn’t mean it’s not mucilage. It can be of at least 10 different types,” Sarı told Turkish media, recalling that this viscous substance that suffocates marine life never actually disappeared, but settled on the seabed.

“Marine mucilage is a consequence. You cannot expect it to go away completely without removing its causes. One of them is the high temperature of the sea (due to climate change), and another, that the Sea of ​​Marmara has too much pollution. Finally, the very geographic structure of the Sea of ​​Marmara contributes to spreading the mucilage”, concluded the expert.