Turkey: Sea Snot Clean-Up underway in Aegean and Black Seas

Turkey has launched a massive cleanup effort to combat a Marine Mucilage, or “Sea Snot” bloom, that is affecting adjoining areas of the Aegean and Black Seas. Swathes of the same bloom have also started appearing around the Greek islands of Limnos and Agios Efstratios in the northeastern Aegean in recent weeks.

Published 2 years ago

Photo from The Daily Sabah (c) Reuters

Marine Mucilage, or “Sea Snot”, a phenomenon caused by a nutrient overload in algae resulting from pollution and high temperatures, has blanketed much of the shoreline around Istanbul in the waterway between the Aegean and the Black Sea for the past few weeks.

These vast sheets of brown and grey slime float on the water, clogging boat engines and washing up on beaches.  Underneath the water, curtains of the sludge hang in sheets with the blooms depleting oxygen levels in the ocean, choking aquatic life and threatening Turkey’s fishing and tourism industries.

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, promised to designate the Sea of Marmara a conservation area and vowed to save Istanbul’s shorelines from “the mucilage calamity.”

The algal bloom first appeared in Turkish waters in 2007 but the 2021 outbreak is the worst on record, experts say.

Popular Cruising Grounds Free of Sea Snot – for now . . .

Gwen Bylund from the Marmaris Bay Cruisers Group told Noonsite that most of the mucilage has so far been along Turkey’s Sea of Marmara and its coastline. Predominantly in Mudanya, Gemlik Bay, Gebze and its surroundings, the coastal areas of Istanbul’s Anatolian side and around the Princes’ Islands.

“At the moment the mucilage hasn’t appeared along cruising grounds from around the Datca end of Mugla province to southeast Antalya. It appears not to be in sailing areas where Marmaris  sailing yachts and other recreational boats spend the summer and fall seasons.  Already into the sailing season, there’s a plethora of boats plying the Turkish coast in this area,” Gwen said.

‘Sea snot’ arrives at Greece’s northern Aegean islands

Swathes of the same bloom have also started appearing around the Greek islands of Limnos and Agios Efstratios in the northeastern Aegean in recent weeks.

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Noonsite has not independently verified this information.

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  1. June 30, 2021 at 4:40 AM
    shuti says:

    I have seen algae also north of Thasos mid of June and at Nissos Diaporos beginning of June. But moderate population, no risk for the motor in my opinion.
    Coast of Kavala and Porto Lagos is free of algae end of June by now