Turkey’s shores are under invasion by sea snot, a slimy substance from the proliferation of phytoplankton. The sea snot invasion near Istanbul in Turkey’s Sea of Marmara is thought to be the worst one in history, the Deseret News reported.
- Fishing, tourism, and all coastal activity has been interrupted, reported The Guardian.
- Marine and human life are increasingly at risk, reported Al Jazeera.
- The sea snot has steadily gotten worse since December, said CBS News.
Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a plan to save the sea. The plan will require coordination between the Istanbul city government and the central government, run by two opposing political parties, reported Al Jazeera.
How do you fight sea snot?
Erdogan and Environmental Minister Murat Kurum announced a multipart plan to address the sea snot invasion, reported The Guardian.
- The Sea of Marmara will become a protected area, per The Guardian.
- Pollution into the Sea of Marmara will be reduced. An investigation team has begun inspecting wastewater facilities to identify sources of pollution, said CBS News.
- Local residents are encouraged to participate in a clean-up operation taking place this week, said The Guardian.
According to CBS News, these steps will be fully implemented within three years. Controlling pollution will reduce nitrogen levels in the water and restore the water quality to previous levels, said The Guardian.
Why is the sea snot so problematic?
Already, the slimy substance has suffocated and killed mass amounts of fish, corals, sponges and other marine life, said Al Jazeera. The continued sea snot bloom further threatens marine life.
- Because sea snot can harbor dangerous bacteria, experts have begun warning that the mucus could lead to an outbreak of cholera in Istanbul, a city of 16 million people, said Al Jazeera.
- The mucilage bloom has disrupted the fishing industry by killing fish, clogging boat motors, and scaring people away from seafood, reported Al Jazeera.
“We will save our seas from this mucilage calamity, leading with the Marmara Sea,” Erdogan said via CBS News. “We must take this step without delay.”