Turkey is struggling to stop the spread of a slimy substance accumulating in its seas. The outbreak of the naturally-occurring mucus-like matter is the biggest on record. And if left untreated, experts warn the sludge could soon coat large parts of Turkey’s coastal waters. Thick, oozing, soupy slime is covering the coast of the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul. Biologists call it marine mucilage – others dub it ‘sea snot.’
It’s source, organisms feeding on human waste in the warming water, is equally icky. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to clean up the gunk. Officials have been ordered to inspect waste water facilities to find sources of pollution. The substance extends deep below the surface, suffocating sea life.
For fisherman, the filth is fouling their boats, and killing their catch. It’s not the first time the sludge has appeared, but this year’s outbreak is unprecedented. Turkish opposition politicians want tougher penalties on pollution, and climate change mitigation measures.
Biologists say humans must cease flushing their waste into the sea, if they want to stop the snot.