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Current Affairs

Sea snot outbreak in Turkey

Date: 10 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A slimy layer of sludge known as Sea snot has been reported in the Turkey’s seas, creating environmental concerns in the country.

 

Background

The sludge is particularly dangerous for marine organisms. It can impact well being of the environment for a long time.

 

Details

  • The sea snot was observed in the Sea of Marmara that connects the Aegean Sea and Black Sea. The snot has been observed in the Black and Aegean Seas as well.

  • This is not the first time such an event has taken place. In 2007, a bout of sea snot was observed in Aegean Sea near Greece and also Sea of Marmara.

 

Reasons for the sea snot

  • The sea snot can be considered a form of marine mucilage that is caused when algae are overloaded with nutrients due to marine pollution.

  • The overload in nutrients occurs when algae is forced to feast on warm weather that happens due to climate change. Pollution of water increases the phenomenon.

  • The present crisis happened due to dumping of industrial and household wastes in the sea. It was enhanced by climate change that caused overproduction of phytoplankton.

 

Effects of sea snot

  • The mucilage has caused large number of deaths of fishes, including corals and other organisms. This will be dangerous for marine organisms.

  • If let uncontrolled and unchecked, the sea snot can settle at the bottom of sea floor and completely destroy marine ecology.

  • Experts say that the sea snot can cause water-borne disease outbreak such as Cholera in the city of Istanbul. The livelihoods of fishermen are also at stake.

 

Handling the crisis

The government is planning to improve water treatment of waste water joining the sea and also reduce pollution. There are efforts to declare Sea of Marmara as a protected area.