Büyükateş, a member of the Marine Biology Department of the Department of Fisheries Basic Sciences, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that mucilage occurs naturally as a result of the proliferation of various marine organisms when biological, chemical and physical conditions are appropriate.
Stating that under certain climatic and trophic (food web) conditions, organic matter produced by various marine organisms accumulates irregularly, Büyükateş emphasized that the increase in the number of diatomenes, defined as “an algae family with hard siliceous shells and forming fossils and thick ground layers”, creates mucilage.
Büyükateş said, “These (diatom) appear as ribbon-shaped structures in the water column in the form of suspension. After they initially accumulate in a certain area, they start to spread and eventually cover a large part of the water surface. Phytoplankton, which we know as marine microscopic plants, zooplankton, the animal organisms that feed on them, bacteria and rotten particles combine with mucilage to form an organic soup. ” said.
“First occurred in the Sea of Marmara in 1994”
Giving the information that the first information about mucilage was recorded in the Adriatic Sea in 1729, Büyükateş said, “It has been observed since the late 1980s, especially until the summer months. In our country, it first occurred in 1994 in the Dardanelles and Marmara Sea. Especially in the Dardanelles and Marmara, we saw it very intensely in the 2007-2008 period and the process was quite long. ” used the expressions.
Prof. Dr. Büyükateş emphasized that this phenomenon is observed intensely, especially in calm weather conditions and when there is little wind.
Stating that photosynthetic activity increases in phytoplanktonic organisms due to the rise in sea water temperature, the increase in sunlight angle with the arrival of spring and the prolongation of daytime, Büyükateş stated that this gel-like, sticky substance emerges when nutrients are low in the system, and that this has not only ecological but also economic and social effects.
“We do not expect it to continue in the summer months as meteorological conditions change.”
Reminding that the fishing ban period was entered, Büyükateş explained that during the active fishing period, mucilage closed the eyes of the fishermen’s nets and damaged the pumps and filters of the boats.
Referring to the effects of mucilage on fish life, Büyükateş continued as follows:
“It creates a false bottom structure in the marine system. For this reason, it has negative effects especially on fish feeding, reproduction and migration. It covers the sea bottom. It can cover the sea meadows, the nests of the fish, the eggs. Therefore, oxygen exchange can be a problem. Because of its high load, it affects the light transmittance in the marine system and has a negative effect on the photosynthesis mechanism.Bacterial fragmentation continues when water temperatures are high. We expect it to disappear as its stagnation diminishes. “
Büyükateş stated that mucilage does not consist of organisms showing toxic properties on its own.
Stating that this has a negative effect on living conditions in terms of aesthetics, Yeşim Büyükateş said, “Nobody will want to swim in such an organic soup. We do not expect it to continue in summer, especially with the change of meteorological conditions. Although it does not directly affect human health, various microbial activities may occur with the decrease of circulation in the environment and human health. For this reason, it would be more appropriate not to swim in the area where mucilage is available. ” he spoke.