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Sea Snot Outbreak in Turkey

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Turkey’s Sea of Marmara, that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, has witnessed the largest outbreak of ‘sea snot’. The sludge has also been spotted in the adjoining Black and Aegean seas.

Apart from this, ‘Sea Snot’ is also being seen in the nearby ‘Black Sea’ and Aegean Sea.

What is ‘Sea Snot’?

  • It is Marine Mucilage, which is formed when there is an overabundance of nutrients in algae.
  • Sea snot are formed when algae are overloaded with nutrients as a result of water pollution combined with the effects of climate change. The nutrient overload occurs when algae feast on warm weather caused by global warming.
  • It looks like a sticky, brown and foamy substance. Its layer is sticky like gray or green slime, which can cause great damage to the marine ecosystem.

Impact and Concerns:

  • The ‘Sea Snot’ has spread through the sea to the south of Istanbul and has covered the beaches and ports along the city.
  • Due to this a serious crisis has arisen for the marine ecosystem of the country. Sea snot has resulted in the death of a large number of fish and other aquatic organisms such as corals and sponges.
  • If left unchecked, it can reach beneath the sea surface and cover the ocean floor, causing widespread damage to marine ecosystems.
  • Over time, it can be toxic to all aquatic organisms, including fish, crabs, oysters, mussels, and sea starfish.
  • Apart from the aquatic life, the outbreak of ‘Sea Snot’ is also affecting the livelihood of the fishermen.
  • This could also lead to outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as cholera in cities such as Istanbul.

Steps being taken by Turkey to stop its spread:

  • Turkey has declared the entire Marmara Sea as a protected area.
  • In addition, steps are being taken to reduce pollution from coastal cities and ships, and to improve waste water treatment.
  • The biggest marine clean-up campaign is being launched in Turkey. In this, local residents, artists and NGOs have been asked to participate in this campaign.

Source: The Hindu

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