Turkey will overcome the problem of mucilage formation in its waters, especially in the Sea of Marmara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, APA reports citing Anadolu.
“We'll save our seas, especially the Sea of Marmara, from this mucilage problem," Erdogan said at a mass opening ceremony on the occasion of World Environment Day in Istanbul.
Mucilage, also known colloquially as Sea snot, is the overgrowth of microscopic algae called phytoplankton. The thick, mucus-like slimy layer contains a variety of microorganisms and is caused by an increase in seawater temperature due to global warming, stillness at sea, and pollution.
Non-refined wastewater discharged into the sea was the cause of the latest increase in the substance coating the surface, Erdogan said, adding that he had instructed Environment Minister Murat Kurum to deal with the issue.
He said the problem would be resolved without waiting for other authorities, such as the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, to take action.
"As the Environment and Urbanization Ministry, you will coordinate this work, and we'll save our seas, especially the Marmara, from this mucilage trouble by joining hands with the universities," said the president.
Erdogan also noted that the problem could spread to the Black Sea, too, and that they would act before it is late.
"The increase in the sea temperature due to climate change has also contributed considerably to this scene," he said.
With a team of 300 people, the ministry is currently carrying out inspections at 91 different points of the Sea of Marmara, as well as all wastewater refinement and solid waste facilities on land, to detect the source of pollution, he said.
About 25 million people live in seven cities along the coast of the Marmara, situated in northwestern Turkey.
Scientists, non-governmental organizations, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry, and Marmara Municipalities Union are cooperating to resolve the mucilage problem.