Over the past eight days Turkish cleanup teams have collected a total of 3,288 cubic meters (116,114 cubic feet) of mucilage from the Sea of Marmara, said the country’s environment and urbanization minister on Wednesday.
Updating the public on the efforts to clear out mucilage, or “sea snot,” Murat Kurum said on Twitter that the operations were conducted in 193 locations.
Noting that the collected mucilage has been sent for disposal, Kurum said the northwestern Yalova province, Istanbul, and the western province of Balikesir are among the cities where most of the mucilage has been cleared.
“In 3,219 inspections we did as of June 15, we imposed total administrative fines of 10.49 million Turkish liras ($1.22 million) on businesses that did not fulfill the necessary conditions,” he said.
Kurum said environmental laboratories are running analyses 24/7 on collected mucilage samples.
Mucilage is an overgrowth of microscopic algae called phytoplankton caused by rising seawater temperatures due to global warming, stagnant water, and pollution.
On June 6, Turkish authorities announced a 22-point action plan to clear a surge of mucilage, which covers parts of the Sea of Marmara in the country's northwest.
The mucilage – mostly accumulated in Mudanya, Gemlik Bay, Gebze and its surroundings, the coastal areas of Istanbul’s Anatolian side, and around the Princes' Islands – also partially covered the shores of the Sea of Marmara.
The substance covering the central coast of the northwestern Yalova province was dispersed by the wind to coastal areas of the Cinarcik and Armutlu districts as well as the town of Esenkoy, which are important touristic hubs.