The Sea of Marmara has been fighting for a while against mucilage (sea saliva), which arises due to the temperature, stagnation of sea water and the abundance of nitrogen-phosphorus and affects the natural life in the sea.
While Turkey’s largest maritime mobilization started on June 8 by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization regarding the removal, collection and management of mucilage from the marine environment, many universities are also conducting research and studies to support this struggle.
In this context, the team, diving with an unmanned underwater vehicle in Darıca district of Kocaeli, observed the presence of mucilage in the depths.
Pieces of mucilage were found at 55 meters
Naval Architecture and Marine Mechanical Engineering senior student Enes Gazi Korkmaz told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they started their work on producing an unmanned underwater vehicle by establishing a company in YTU Yıldız Technopark with the “Young Entrepreneur Award” they won from TÜBİTAK about 6 months ago.
Pointing out that when mucilage started to appear in the Marmara Sea, Korkmaz stated that their university started a project to carry out detailed research on the causes and cleaning of it, and stated that the faculty members were included in the project on the idea of taking samples and images from underwater rather than using divers.
In this context, Korkmaz drew attention to the fact that they went 55 meters deep during the dive they made in Darıca, and conveyed his observations about the images they recorded underwater:
“The depth was a maximum of 57 meters. When we dived, there was no mucilage layer on the surface. When we looked at the surface, it looked clean. We did not encounter any mucilage layer in the first 5-10 meters during the dive. From this depth, we started to encounter mucilage layers such as tulle and spider web. When we go deeper, we do not see any mucilage layer. It started to intensify. It was quite dense, especially between 15 and 30-35 meters. Pieces, like huge ropes, it covered everywhere. With the decrease of light, the mucilage layer on the bottom was decreasing. There was almost no light at 55 meters. “They may have come down from the surface, from higher up, and perhaps formed there as well. We don’t know yet.”
Samples can be taken from different depths.
Stating that the dive in Darıca is the deepest dive so far, as it was done with an unmanned underwater vehicle, Korkmaz said, “Because it was previously used by divers to take pictures. A diver also has a chance to go down to 30 meters because it is difficult. “At this time, there needs to be light in the environment for mucilage to form. Below 30 meters, the amount of light decreases considerably. However, during our dive, we saw that there was mucilage up to 35-40 meters. Even at 55 meters, there was a piece of mucilage.” made its assessment.
Enes Gazi Korkmaz explained that they also made an examination on the water surface and 5-6 meters below in Caddebostan, but they did not encounter as much mucilage here as in Darıca.
Stating that collecting mucilage with an unmanned underwater vehicle and taking images is a different method compared to other studies in Turkey, Korkmaz emphasized that they support the project with their innovative aspects as both students and entrepreneurs.
Noting that his work will continue, Korkmaz said, “We have developed an apparatus for taking samples from underwater. Thus, we will take mucilage samples from different depths. These will be examined at our university. The samples taken now are mostly samples collected by divers from the surface or from certain depths. We will be able to take samples from different points at every depth.” gave the information.