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Science Times previously reported that a thick, viscous, mucus-like substance or also known as sea snot, is spreading across the Sea of Marmara in Turkey, possibly due to climate change.

This naturally occurring green sludge that forms when it is overloaded with nutrients from the hot weather and water pollution is said to be the largest in history and is causing damage to the local community.

The sea snot started forming in December 2020 and has been bothering fishermen from casting their nets to catch fish. Experts blame pollution, and climate change has caused the growing sea snot.

 Sea Snot in Turkey's Sea of Marmara Killing Mass of Fishes, Marine Ecosystem
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Man with sea snot on his right hand.

Solving the Massive Sea Snot in the Sea of Marmara

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the massive sea snot for the untreated sewage being dumped into the sea and also the rising temperatures.

"My fear is, if this expands to Black Sea... the trouble will be enormous. We need to take this step without delay," President Erdogan said, according to BBC News.

He has ordered to dispatch 300 teams to investigate and inspect the possible sources of pollution that have caused the sea snot. Based on the photos, boats navigate through the gray sludge in order to pass through the Sea of Marmara.

However, what's worse is that fishermen are being prevented to work because the sea snot clogs up the motors of their fishing vessels and nets.

According to divers, masses of fishes and other species are dying from suffocation due to sea snot covering the sea surface. Experts have warned that problems with the sea snot would persist until there was a fresh investment to treat and purify wastewater that is being pumped out from the Turkish city of Istanbul.

"Due to the overgrowth of the mucilage, several species are under threat [including] oysters, mussels, sea stars," Prof Ozturk told the BBC News. "It's a real catastrophe."

President Erdogan promised to solve the problem of sea snot outbreaks in the Sea of Marmara.

ALSO READ: Climate Change Disrupting Ocean Stability Faster Than Previously Thought [Study]


Massive Sea Snot Effects on Local Fishermen

Mehmet Soyolcu, a 43-year-old fourth-generation fisherman in the Sea of Marmara, said that they have always known that the problem of sea snot will occur, but the media does not care much about it because it was not yet seen on the surface.

He added that fishing in the sea has been particularly hard for the past ten years, but it has now worsened due to the sea snot covering much of the Sea of Marmara. In the past, it would take two hours to pull the fishing net from the sea, but now it would take ten hours, not to mention their expense on fuel and other running costs.

Every day the cost of operations is getting higher and higher, and the fish is getting lesser and lesser, making an effort not worthy anymore, Aljazeera reported. The loss of income from fishing has worsened by an economic crisis in Turkey as the value of their currency continues to fall.

some fishermen would raise their prices to compensate for their loss, but it has not helped either because people are afraid of the sea snot that might have contaminated Marmara's fish.

In the fish market, greater numbers of customers are staying away from buying fish and seafood since the news of the sea snot problem. Even regular customers have stopped buying.

Vendors said that on normal days, their stock would be gone by noon. However, locals are still afraid of the possible effects of sea snot even though they would say that it is safe to eat.

Ecologists warned that President Erdogan's $15 billion Istanbul canal mega-project that will dig 30 miles between the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara should be stopped. They said that the sea is already struggling to cope, and this project could worsen the situation of the ecosystem.

RELATED ARTICLE: Thick Sea Snot Covers the Sea of Marmara in Turkey, Could It Be Due to Climate Change?

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