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A mysterious sticky substance washed away the sea off Istanbul

Turkey is looking for an urgent solution to the mucous patches covering in some places the Marmara Sea and the neighboring Black and Aegean Seas, the size of which has reached unprecedented proportions in recent days.

Yekta Sarac, head of the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK), said on Twitter on Sunday that a review of the country’s universities and proposals for a solution would be evaluated.

Baran Bozoglu, president of the Turkish Association for Climate Change Research and Climate Policy, told Turkish news agency Demirorn about the reasons for the emergence of sticky veils and preventing its further development.

Bozoglu noted in an interview published on Sunday:

Mud is actually an organic matter produced by marine organisms, and the current catastrophic situation is responsible for increased water pollution and climate change.

He stressed that coastal cities, including Istanbul, which has a population of 16 million, do not treat their wastewater properly, leaving more nitrogen and phosphorous in the seas than they need, with an average temperature of 2.5 degrees Celsius higher than the years previous. Mucus prevents oxygen from reaching the sea, and Bozoglu drew attention to the seriousness of the problem.

According to the expert, mucus must be collected first, and then if the universities identify exactly the marine organisms that cause this phenomenon, they will be able to neutralize the sticky layer with various bacteria. Bozoglu believes that the long-term solution is to increase the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a speech in Istanbul on World Environment Day on Saturday, vowed to rid the seas of mud.

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Cover image illustration.