Turkey has collected a total of 2,684 cubic metres (94,784 cubic feet) of mucilage from the Sea of Marmara over the last seven days.
Sharing the latest updates on the efforts to clear the waters, Turkey’s environment and urbanisation minister Murat Kurum said on Tuesday that ongoing operations were progressing well and that the collected mucilage had been sent for disposal.
The northwestern Yalova province, Istanbul, and the western province of Balikesir were among the areas where most of the mucilage has been cleared, he said.
“In 1,438 inspections we conducted as of June 14, we imposed an administrative fine of 7.55 million Turkish liras ($881,239) on businesses that did not fulfil the necessary conditions,” he said.
Mucilage, also known as “sea snot”, is an overgrowth of microscopic algae called phytoplankton and is caused by rising seawater temperatures due to global warming, stagnant water and pollution.
On June 6, Turkish authorities announced a 22-point action plan to clear a surge of mucilage that covered parts of the Sea of Marmara in the country’s northwest.
The mucilage – mostly accumulated in Mudanya, Gemlik Bay, Gebze and its surroundings, the coastal areas of Istanbul’s Anatolian side, and around the Princes Islands – also partially covered the shores of the Sea of Marmara.
The substance covering the central coast of the northwestern Yalova province was dispersed by the wind to coastal areas of the Cinarcik and Armutlu districts as well as the town of Esenkoy, which are important touristic hubs.