Turkey boosts controls against waste-dumping businesses to address sea’s mucilage problem

Turkey has boosted its controls against businesses that do not meet the necessary rules on waste dumping as part of the campaign launched against the mucilage problem on the Marmara Sea, Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum announced Tuesday.

In a statement on his twitter account, Kurum said businesses that failed to comply with the rules were fined over 7.5 million Turkish liras (880,000 U.S. dollars) in more than 1,400 inspections conducted on Monday alone.

Kurum added that his crews have passed the samples of the effluent of treatment plants through extensive tests.

Last week, Turkey launched its largest and most comprehensive sea cleaning campaign to remove the mucilage, known as “sea snot,” from the sea.

The cleaning activities have been going on at 77 locations on the sea in several provinces along the Marmara Sea, including Istanbul, Bursa, Canakkale, Kocaeli, and Tekirdag.

According to the minister, the cleaning teams have so far collected 2,684 cubic meters of mucilage and sent it for disposal.

The substance was first seen on Istanbul’s shores on the Marmara Sea and later expanded to the northern Aegean Sea and a small part of the Black Sea, threatening the entire ecological system.