Science

Photos show slimy ‘sea snot’ clogging up the sea near Turkey

Summary List PlacementA slimy "sea snot" is clogging up water off the shore of Turkey. Photos show a thick layer of slime, known as marine mucilage, covering the Sea of Marmara south of Istanbul. The slime is a discharge of protein, carbohydrates, and fat from phytoplankton, a microscopic algae. For months that substance has been filling fish nets, threatening marine life, and suffocating coral. Scientists suspect that climate change is fueling the sea-snot crisis, and runoff from nitrogen- and phosphorous-rich fertilizer could also be playing a part. Environment Minister Murat Kurum told Reuters on Sunday that officials plan to designate the Sea of Marmara...

An aerial photo of the sea at the Caddebostan shore, in Asian side of Istanbul, Monday, June 7, 2021, with a huge mass of marine mucilage, a thick, slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms, in Turkey's Marmara Sea.

Summary List Placement

A slimy “sea snot” is clogging up water off the shore of Turkey.

Photos show a thick layer of slime, known as marine mucilage, covering the Sea of Marmara south of Istanbul. The slime is a discharge of protein, carbohydrates, and fat from phytoplankton, a microscopic algae.

For months that substance has been filling fish nets, threatening marine life, and suffocating coral.

Scientists suspect that climate change is fueling the sea-snot crisis, and runoff from nitrogen- and phosphorous-rich fertilizer could also be playing a part.

An aerial photo of the sea at the Caddebostan shore, in Asian side of Istanbul, Monday, June 7, 2021, with a huge mass of marine mucilage, a thick, slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms, in Turkey's Marmara Sea.

Environment Minister Murat Kurum told Reuters on Sunday that officials plan to designate the Sea of Marmara a protected area in an attempt to reduce pollution, and he called on local residents to help in the country’s maritime clean-up efforts.

“We will take all the necessary steps within three years and realize the projects that will save not only the present but also the future together,” he told Reuters.

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