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Post at: Jul 28 2021

Sea Snot Outbreak in Turkey

CONTEXT
In June 2021, Turkey’s Sea of Marmara has witnessed the largest outbreak of sea snot.

ABOUT SEA SNOT

  • Turkey recorded first sea snot out in 2007 in the Aegean Sea near Greece.
  • Sea Snot is a marine mucilage or slimy layer of grey or green sludge in the country’s sea.
  • It looks like a viscous, brown and foamy substance.

CAUSES OF ‘Sea Snot’ IN THE SEAS OF TURKEY

  • It is formed when algae are overloaded with nutrients as a result of water pollution.
  • Overproduction of phytoplankton is also one of the major reason.
  • Uncontrolled dumping of household and industrial waste into the seas.
  • The thick slimy layer of organic matter has spread through the sea of Istanbul and also blanketed harbours and shorelines.
  • Global Warming (increasing temperature) is causing this crisis.
  • It is also blamed that discharge of untreated water from cities are the reason of this.
  • However, the sea snot outbreaks was first recorded in the country in 2007 in Italy. But back then it was also spotted in the Agean Sea in Greece. But the current outbreak in the Sea of Marmara is more than that.

 

IMPACTS

  • Mass deaths among the fish population was seen and it also killed other aquatic organisms such as corals and sponges.
  • The mucilage floats upon the surface of the sea and poses a severe threat to marine ecosystem.
  • It can collapse to the bottom & cover the sea floor accusing major degradation of marine ecosystem.
  • It could end up poisoning all aquatic life including fishes, corals, oysters mussels and sea star.
  • It has affected the livelihood of fishermen because sludge is getting collected in their nets making so heavy that they break or lost.
  • It can cause an outbreak of water borne diseases such as cholera etc.

CONCLUSION
Serious steps should be taken to tackle the twin outbreak of pollution & global warming.

Amit Gupta


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