Mucilage Problem in the Semi-Enclosed Seas: Recent Outbreak in the Sea of Marmara


SAVUN HEKİMOĞLU B., GAZİOĞLU C.

International Journal of Environment and Geoinformatics, vol.8, no.4, pp.402-413, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

Abstract

Mucilage is an exopolymeric organic substance that occurs in the marine environment due to the overgrowth of a type of sea algae. Extreme blooms of algae are often triggered by rising seawater temperatures and human-induced pressures such as domestic and industrial wastes, insufficient treatment levels, excessive fishing. In semi-enclosed seas, this phenomenon creates growing concern, as it has a detrimental impact on the entire ecology, particularly benthic organisms. The Sea of Marmara is filled for months with mucilage that clogs the networks of fishers, suffocates marine life, and threatens tourism and the economy. Although the mucilage did not occur in the Sea of Marmara for the first time, nor is the occurrence unique to the area, it is thought to be one of the worst mucilage outbreaks ever. This study aims to provide information on the possible causes and consequences of mucilage and related research in the Sea of Marmara.