scorecardPhotos show slimy 'sea snot' clogging up the sea near Turkey
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Photos show slimy 'sea snot' clogging up the sea near Turkey

Kelly McLaughlin   

Photos show slimy 'sea snot' clogging up the sea near Turkey
LifeScience1 min read
  • A slimey marine mucilage has been threatening marine life in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul.
  • Photos show the slime, known as "sea snot," covering waters of the Sea of Marmara.

A slimy "sea snot" is clogging up water off the shore of Turkey.

Photos show a thick layer of slime, known as marine mucilage, covering the Sea of Marmara south of Istanbul. The slime is a discharge of protein, carbohydrates, and fat from phytoplankton, a microscopic algae.

For months that substance has been filling fish nets, threatening marine life, and suffocating coral.

Scientists suspect that climate change is fueling the sea-snot crisis, and runoff from nitrogen- and phosphorous-rich fertilizer could also be playing a part.

Environment Minister Murat Kurum told Reuters on Sunday that officials plan to designate the Sea of Marmara a protected area in an attempt to reduce pollution, and he called on local residents to help in the country's maritime clean-up efforts.

"We will take all the necessary steps within three years and realize the projects that will save not only the present but also the future together," he told Reuters.

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