No way turquoise blue water: near Istanbul and along the coast, gray slime covers the surface of the sea, the result of a bacterial bloom. The problem is so great that President Erdogan got involved.
A thick slime carpet is currently threatening the coasts of the Turkish Marmara Sea. The inland sea connects the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea. It is not uncommon for there to be algal blooms. But now a gray mass, also called “Seerotz”, has spread further and further. So far that even the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was called on the scene. According to the AP news agency, he said on Saturday that he promised a solution to the problem.
The slime is produced by bacteria found in both the Marmara Sea and the Aegean and Black Seas. They find excellent growing conditions due to excessive shipping traffic and many industrial plants as well as sewage. The gray carpets can now also be seen from the plane.
The marine biologist Derya Akkaynak criticized the Turkish government on Twitter: “Turkey is testing the limits of how bad local conditions can get before nothing can survive in the water. Decades of pollution and climate change have brought the Sea of Marmara to a state that experts believe is a rotting corpse call.”
Erdogan blamed untreated sewage and climate change for the slime. This has meanwhile reached Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, and is visible from afar. Under the surface of the sea, meanwhile, the mass suffocates many corals and marine animals.
The Turkish government now wants to inspect sewage treatment plants and other possible polluters in order to be able to master the situation. While the mucus is not in itself dangerous to humans, it can contain bacteria such as E. coli.