Turkey Fights Back Against 'Sea Snot' Invasion
Turkey has been hit by a plague of "sea snot" that is covering much of its Sea of Marmara with a thick layer of mucus-like sludge.
ISTANBUL, TURKEY — Turkey has been hit by a plague of "sea snot" that is covering much of its Sea of Marmara with a thick layer of mucus-like sludge — a sludge that looks like it's fresh out of the nose of some virus-ridden giant.
Or make that the noses of a billion virus-ridden giants, as each of the slime spots cover many miles of the sea. And the gunk isn't just gross — it's also smothering animals underwater. Here are the details:
The BBC reports that Turkey's President Erdogan has promised to save the country's shores from "sea snot" that has been building up in its waters.
A thick, slimy layer of the mucus-like matter is spreading over the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul, damaging marine life and the fishing industry.
This "sea snot", or marine mucilage, is a naturally-occurring green or white sludge that forms when algae is overloaded with nutrients as a result of hot weather and water pollution.
Turkey's recent outbreak over large areas of the Sea of Marmara is believed to be the biggest in history and is causing havoc for local communities.
Some fishermen are being prevented from working as it clogs up their motors and nets.
President Erdogan blamed untreated sewage being dumped into the sea, as well as rising temperatures, and urged officials to investigate.
His government has dispatched a 300-strong team to inspect potential sources of pollution.
Divers have reported that large numbers of fish and other species are dying from suffocation.
Researchers from the Turkish Marine Research Foundation warned such problems would continue unless there is fresh investment to treat and purify waste water being pumped out of Istanbul.
The foundation called it a real catastrophe and warned that, due to the overgrowth of the mucilage, several species are under threat — including oysters, mussels, and sea stars.
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