‘Bilim-2’ in the Sea of ​​Marmara to track sea saliva

Scientific data collected with the research vessel Bilim-2 of the METU Marine Sciences Institute, which is navigating to investigate the formation of sea saliva (mucilage) seen at many points in the Sea of ​​Marmara, will be presented at the workshop to be organized by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization on Friday, June 4th.

After the formation of saliva, which is the simplest organic waste of living organisms, has been observed in many parts of the Marmara Sea since February, the eyes of the scientific world have turned to the studies on this subject.

The Science-2 research ship of the METU Marine Sciences Institute also followed the sea saliva formation, which put the Marmara into a coma, on site.

Assistant Director of the Institute, Assoc. Dr. Mustafa Yücel answered the questions of the AA correspondent.

Expressing that the Ministry supported and carefully followed the MARMOD Project with its great dedication and experienced experts, Yücel noted that the Marmara expedition was also supported by the DEKOSİM National Marine Research Infrastructure Center Project and the TÜBİTAK BİDEB Pioneering Researchers Program. Assoc. Dr. Mustafa Yücel stated that it will be possible to collect data from the deepest points of Marmara with the latest technology oceanographic measurement platforms and sensors.

Yücel explained that the MARMOD Project, whose main goal is to “provide solutions based on marine science and data to save Marmara,” has priority goals such as establishing a common database for the Marmara Sea and determining the oxygen level.

Mustafa Yücel, who stated that the METU Bilim-2 Ship changed its course to this region to examine the extraordinary situation and plans additional sampling and analyzes due to the increase in slobber, which created an emergency, said that scientists, in their voyages, ensured the health of the Marmara Sea at nearly 70 stations and He stated that he handled it from many angles, up to the deepest point of 1200 meters.

METU Marine Sciences Institute Deputy Director Assoc. Dr. Yücel said that the collected data was transferred to the institute and the scientists were scrutinized.

“Excessive algae production in Marmara is of terrestrial origin at a rate of 70 percent”

Expressing that there is an increase in algae and plankton in the Marmara Sea due to excessive nutrient input above the carrying capacity, Yücel continued his words as follows:

“Measurements in the MARMOD Project show that excessive algae production in Marmara is caused by 70% of terrestrial-source, under-treated or insufficiently treated wastes meeting with the sea. Domestic waste, water treatment plants are not implemented, wastewater is discharged to the sea without treatment, and the amount of oxygen is reduced. decrease is one of the reasons for this situation.

While the average temperature of all the world’s seas has warmed between 0.8-1 degrees, it is stated that the Marmara Sea has warmed between 2-2.5 degrees for various reasons. Global warming also seems to be a factor. The drooling in the Sea of ​​Marmara can be interpreted as expelling excess organic material from the sea.

The data of the MARMOD research expedition will be shared at the workshop

Assoc. Dr. Yucel said:

“The intense drooling seen in the Marmara Sea in recent weeks is actually the visible form of the iceberg. The instantaneous information received from our METU Bilim-2 Ship is that the mucilage is not only on the surface but also like a gel in the sea, and the oxygen in the sea is very low. Taking samples from the sea and examining them. Currently, the filters and pumps we use for our water are barely working because of the organic particle density.We are facing a disaster that has never been seen before in the Turkish seas.

The intense saliva displayed in Marmara has actually spread along the visible part, the main water column, and has begun to cover the sea floor. Our diver instructors transfer data. We have never measured the organic density in the upper 30 meters before in the history of the Marmara Sea. It is not easy to answer what reason brought this event to this point. The data we collected show that while the oxygen level necessary for life in the Black Sea is stable, this level has decreased over the years in the Marmara Sea. Generally, aquatic creatures can take oxygen up to 80 meters in the east of Marmara, but this has decreased to 20 meters in recent years. In other words, there is oxygen in the first 20 meters of the sea surface, there is not enough oxygen below. “

Expressing that some scientists are focusing on the possibility that the salivation in the sea is “caused by a very sudden discharge”, Yücel said, “Some of our instructors express the opinion that the sudden discharge triggers the whole of Marmara. It is among the scenarios that there is a collective reaction when triggered.”

METU Marine Sciences Institute Deputy Director Assoc. Dr. Mustafa Yücel said, “Staying healthy in Marmara directly affects the health of the Black Sea basin. In fact, this situation may also have international consequences. According to our models, reducing terrestrial wastes by at least 50 percent can bring the Sea of ​​Marmara out of coma in 5-6 years. In this case, we can go back to the periods when fish were dispersed to depths of 80-100 meters. In the long run, the amount of waste needs to be reduced even further.” made its assessment.

3 important solutions

Stating that they compiled a series of solution proposals for the workshop from the results of the MARMOD project and summarizing them as “advanced treatment”, “green buffer zones”, “control of treatment zones”, Assoc. Dr. Mustafa Yucel said:

“One of our suggestions to remove the Marmara Sea from the coma is to make an investment plan for the urban wastewater discharged to the lower layer of the Bosphorus. Reducing the loads discharged from the Susurluk, Marmara and Ergene basins to the Marmara, reducing the carrying capacity of the receiving environment for urban waste water discharges. Among our suggestions are the determination of the limits that take into account the limits, improvement plans in Kadıköy, Yenikapı, Üsküdar and Baltalimanı and Paşabahçe Pretreatment plants.In addition, we think it is necessary to bring forward the 2023 target regarding the capacity and investments foreseen for the Istanbul Action Plan.

In addition, the Susurluk Basin Pollution Prevention Action Plan should be urgently created and green buffer zones to be built along the river should be established in order to reduce the pressures from the Susurluk Basin to the Marmara Sea. It is also important to increase inspections and establish good agricultural practices in terms of environmental legislation. In the Izmit Bay basin, point sources should also be controlled. In order for all these proposals to be implemented, municipalities need to develop solutions together. The costs of the solution must be borne as a country.”

On a question about whether there is another danger waiting for Marmara in the future, Yücel said, “I think the biggest approaching danger is the increasing continuation of deoxygenation. As the deoxygenation continues, this danger will increase. This situation will soon cause mass death of fish and many sea creatures in the Sea of ​​Marmara. It could be. It’s not too far away.” said.

Mustafa Yücel emphasized that they have moved to the second phase of the MARMOD Project and that they will take the modeling of the Sea of ​​Marmara further. Yücel added that with this model, the consequences of any change in the sea or the effects of various management plans can be tested and predicted by an interface by decision makers.