Almost a month after authorities launched a massive cleaning campaign, no trace of marine mucilage was detected in the north of the Bosphorus Strait, which is the entry point of the upper current coming from the Black Sea.
Caused by the over-reproduction of certain types of microalgae, marine mucilage has produced unprecedented scenes in the Marmara Sea and severely hurt the fishing industry in the Turkish waters.
Turkish authorities on June 8 launched its “largest and most comprehensive sea cleaning mobilization” ever to save the sea from the plague of excessive algae. These comprehensive efforts seem to finally have paid off.
Daily Milliyet reporter Gökhan Karakaş went diving with members of the “Respect to the Deep” diving group to follow the latest state in the northern point of the Bosporus and to observe the underwater life that officials say is endangered due to the slimy layers.
The effect of marine mucilage was not observed in the dives between 0-10 meters, which were performed under the foot of the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge on the European side of Istanbul.
In diving, the prevalence of creatures reflecting the nutritious feature of the Black Sea such as sky gazer, sunfish, sea snail, crabs and rockfish drew attention.
Similar results were also seen in diving on the shores of Fil (Elephant) Cape on the Asian side of the Bosphorus.
While traces of horse mackerel were also noticed in the area where bream fish also nest, it was observed that marine mucilage did not accumulate and its density decreased.
Necla Köseoğlu, the only woman fisher who has been fishing in the Bosporus for 50 years, stated that the Black Sea current is strong enough to create a swirling eddy in the strait, but marine mucilage filled her nets throughout the season.
“The mucilage blocked our nets and so we were not able to catch fish. While taking the nets into the boat, the nets are torn from the weight by the power of the reel,” Köseoğlu said.
The sea cleanup teams have collected a total of 11,084 cubic meters of mucilage from the Marmara Sea over the past 30 days, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said on July 11.
Meanwhile, striving for the protection of Turkish waters, the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TÜDAV) has stated that marine mucilage, not observed in the range of 0-10 meters, may affect marine life at deeper depths.
Stressing that the Black Sea should be included in the ongoing efforts to eliminate marine mucilage in the Marmara Sea, TÜDAV called on the authorities to take action.
Hurriyet Daily News