After Months of Work, 'Mucilage Report' Was Presented to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey

Musilaj Report Presented to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
'Mucilage Report' Presented to Parliament

After months of work, the Parliamentary Mucilage Research Commission presented its report to the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, with the aim of investigating the causes of the mucilage problem in the seas, especially in the Marmara Sea, and determining the measures to be taken. CHP, HDP and IYI Party added dissent to the report.

In the HDP's commentary, it was stated that the report was prepared by arranging the information in an eclectic manner. It was stated that in this state, the report cannot contribute to the investigation of the causes of mucilage and to take preventive measures. In the CHP commentary, it was emphasized that the report did not include measures to eliminate the problem permanently. The commentary of the IYI Party has not been shared yet.


In the 400-page detailed report, the concept of mucilage was analyzed in four sections: “Mucilage problem”, “Mucilage effects”, “Mucilage control and prevention” and “Conclusion and recommendations”. First of all, in the report where the definition of mucilage was made; The following statements were included;

“Mucilage (sea saliva, sea snow); The excessive increase in the number of individuals of some photosynthetic single-celled organisms in the environment, as a result of the rapid depletion of nutrient salts, the ensuing mass deaths, and the large sugars (polysaccharides) naturally found in the cell content, accompanied by strong stratified waters with excess nutrient salts, suitable temperature and calm air. and other hydrocarbons) can be defined as a saliva-like structure formed by the external environment.”


In the report, it was stated that mucilage can form in the water column as well as due to thread-shaped macro algae living on the sea floor. Drawing attention to the fact that mucilage occurs in all oceans of the world, it was stated in the report that this event occurred as a result of the warming of the surface waters in general and the increase in the stability of the water layers combined with other triggering factors.


In the report, where the mucilage phenomenon was observed for the first time in Turkey in September 2007 in the Gulf of Izmit and in Büyükada, it was noted that the mucilage phenomenon was evaluated as an organic formation thought to be triggered by increased sea water temperatures and human-induced pressures in the Marmara Sea. In the report, it was stated that "The increase of the organic matter in the environment by human-induced increase and the increase of the normal rate of deterioration, and the fact that the spoilage products cling to each other, possibly covering large areas in the interior of the sea and on the sea surface, possibly with the accumulated gases, are the main reasons that trigger the mucilage event," the report said.

In the report, which draws attention to the importance of wastewater management due to the excessive use and pollution that arise in parallel with the developing industrial and agricultural activities, the report states that “The physical, chemical, Different treatment methods are used in order to make it not change its bacteriological and ecological properties. This issue is important for the protection of water resources. In the report, which stated that the scarcity, scarcity and pollution of water resources are the leading causes of damage to natural resources caused by global climate change, the importance of holistic and sustainable management of underground and surface water resources was also emphasized.


The report states that the most important factor in the formation of mucilage in the Marmara Sea is the increase in the ratio of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus) in the water. It creates pollution by mixing with surface waters and underground waters through infiltration.

In the report, which emphasized that pollution reduction, monitoring studies and inspections should be carried out effectively in order to eliminate the mucilage problem in the Marmara Sea, the report said, “To prevent the mucilage problem and to prevent similar problems from happening again, the sea should be handled holistically together with the coasts; It is important that prevention works are carried out in coordination with the activities carried out for the protection and sustainability of coastal areas.


In the conclusion and suggestions part of the report, in order to control and prevent mucilage and to prevent similar environmental problems; Water, waste water and waste management, combating global climate change, protection of water resources, management of coasts, R&D studies, training and awareness in order to detect pollution caused by activities such as urban, industrial, agricultural, and maritime, and to reduce the effect of pollution sources and pollution load. measures to be taken regarding their work.

The things to be done in the report are listed in 157 items. Some items are:

– With the effective implementation of the 06.06.2021-item Marmara Sea Action Plan, which was shared with the public on 22 in order to eliminate the pollution in the Marmara Sea, taking into account this integrity, the implementations are meticulously followed, inspected and operated in accordance with the specified standards, the Marmara Sea will be able to reach a good environmental status.

– Activities and sub-activities included in the Marmara Sea Integrated Strategic Plan prepared within the scope of the Action Plan should be implemented with precision within the periods specified by the relevant and responsible institutions.

-The basic principles in waste water management are “minimum pollution” and “maximum recycling”. kazanshould be "Im".

– In order to reduce the waste water load in the Marmara Sea Basin, first of all, clean production practices based on the principle of preventing pollution at the source should reduce the waste water flow and pollution load; After the waste water is treated with appropriate treatment methods, reuse alternatives should be evaluated and the discharge of waste water after taking these measures should be carried out in accordance with the standards specified in the legislation.

– The use of treated domestic wastewater in industry, parks, gardens and green field irrigation should be expanded. Legal arrangements should be made about the reuse of used water. The reuse of gray water should be encouraged by legal regulations.

– Companies that make environmentally friendly production, implement zero waste projects, build and operate advanced biological wastewater treatment plants and use gray water should be rewarded.

– In order to reduce phosphorus pollution caused by detergents and personal hygiene products, the use of cleaning materials containing phosphorus and surfactant should be reduced gradually, and legislative arrangements should be made for the production of phosphorus-free products.

– The use of environmentally-labeled products in cleaning materials should be expanded, a website and social media account should be opened to announce environmentally-labeled products.

– Within the scope of the Regulation on Detergents, market surveillance and inspection should be made more effective, and unsafe products detected as a result of the inspections should be shared with the public through the Unsafe Product Information System prepared by the Ministry of Commerce.

– First of all, the biodiversity of the Marmara Sea (from bacteria to mammals) needs to be defined and recorded. By comparing the data obtained here and historical data, local/foreign species identification of the species should be made, the invasive potential of foreign species should be investigated and regular monitoring studies should be carried out to cover all living groups, and new alien species should be identified quickly.

– Necessary measures should be taken to prevent plastic and micro-plastic pollution, which adversely affects sea creatures and those who consume them due to the food chain.

– A database on marine biodiversity should be established in order to develop measures to protect the biological diversity and richness of our seas.

– Necessary measures (temporary or permanent restrictions, etc.) should be taken to protect aquaculture habitats and breeding areas, protect and increase biodiversity, and improve their stocks.

– A living inventory should be created in our seas, fish stocks should be determined and hunting should be planned based on existing stocks.

– Fishing should be regulated regionally and locally, and a transition to a quota system should be made in hunting.

– The effectiveness of illegal, unregistered and illegal fishing controls and inspections in all fishing areas, especially in the Sea of ​​Marmara, should be increased.

– Environment and sea cleaning is one of the basic elements of tourism, and necessary measures should be taken in cooperation with relevant institutions and organizations in order to manage the environment in a continuous and balanced way without disturbing the marine ecosystem, and to prevent possible damage without losing time.

– Detailed studies should be carried out to protect historical structures, especially underwater cultural heritage, in tourism centers from the negative effects that may be caused by the mucilage problem, and the effects of mucilage on tourism should be analyzed multidimensionally.

– It would be appropriate to increase studies on the possible risks of mucilage in terms of public health and to share the findings with the public.

– Necessary measures should be taken to prevent pollution caused by discharges of domestic and industrial waste water, agricultural activities, ship waste water, coastal landfills, mine and excavation wastes and atmospheric precipitation in the Sea of ​​Marmara.

– Priority should be given to sectors that produce high technology and limited waste in the Marmara Region, and the concentration in the industrial field should be expanded to new regions such as Central Anatolia.

– As determined in the results of the MARMOD Project; In order to reach the oxygen threshold (hypoxia) in the Sea of ​​Marmara, necessary studies should be accelerated to reduce the total terrestrial nutrient load by 40 percent.


In the dissenting opinion of the HDP, “A search for a cause cannot be made by lining up the presentations one after the other, tweezing the parts that suit you from the presentations and stacking them one after the other in an eclectic manner. Preventive measures are unavailable. Moreover, with such an eclectic bombardment of information, it cannot be expected from the TGNA to create holistic policies. It is also unacceptable to present a text that is extremely eclectic from the beginning and that has been plagued with conceptual confusion, as a commission text.

In the section “Suggestions for the solution of the mucilage problem in the Marmara Sea” in the dissenting opinion, it was emphasized that the main solution should be to abandon using the Sea of ​​Marmara as a receiving medium. In the dissenting opinion, "The mucilage problem in the Marmara Sea is mainly an anthropogenic problem," the measures to be taken were listed in 23 articles. Some of the 23 items in question are as follows:

– “Saving the Sea of ​​Marmara from being polluted” will save it from all negative elements, especially mucilage. (Ex: biotoxin problem, heavy metal problem, overheating in upper water body, loss of biodiversity, possible human health etc.).

– In this context, the Marmara Sea should not be used as a receiving environment in any way. Due to the oxygen level, which is well below the 5mg/liter dissolved oxygen value accepted by the international receiving environment standards, which have already been accepted in the environmental legislation, it is currently not possible to discharge by accepting Marmara as the receiving environment.

– Projects that will adversely affect the marine ecosystem, such as the “Balıkesir Çanakkale Provinces Integrated Coastal Areas Plan”, should be abandoned.

– Ongoing mining activities on Marmara Island, some of which do not even have an EIA report, should be restricted and subjected to strict control in line with ecological needs.

– The same protocol applied in the Ergene basin should be applied to the industrial facilities producing especially in the Susurluk basin, the discharge of waste water into the streams or the sea should be prevented, and the water used in the facilities should be recycled. kazanIt should be basic.

– In all agricultural basins, the entry of agricultural pollutants into streams, lakes and eventually the sea should be prevented. A gradual transition to agroecological methods in agriculture should be ensured, buffer zones should be established between agricultural areas and streams, lakes or seas, artificial wetlands should be created for irrigation purposes, and emergency basin plans should be put into effect.

– Urban and industrial planning that may cause population growth in the Marmara Region should be prevented.

– Due to the unique features of the Sea of ​​Marmara, a curriculum arrangement should be made in which students' ideas about the sea and marine environment can be formed by adding information about what a sea is, especially in primary education, to the curriculum.


In the opposition statement, which also drew attention to the Kanal Istanbul Project, "The increase in the population, the formation of new land-based pollution assets, the transport of pollution to the sea, the dumping of millions of cubic meters of excavation into the sea (the Marmaray experience should be remembered in this regard), the destruction of clean water assets and the Küçük Çekmece lagoon, the destruction of the Black Sea. Opening a second way to the pollution coming from etc. For many reasons, such as the Kanal Istanbul waterway and the new city structuring, it will be another destructive factor for the Marmara marine ecosystem.


The dissenting opinion prepared on behalf of the CHP Parliamentary Group was also presented to the Speaker of the Parliament. In the dissenting opinion, which stated that mucilage is an important environmental problem that arises as a result of the combination of certain conditions, it was stated that algae can become dominant in the marine ecosystem when these conditions occur. In the dissenting opinion stating that failure to control mucilage will lead to the emergence of bigger problems for the environment, bio-diversity and economy, “It is seen that the report does not sufficiently include the propositions that will eliminate the problem permanently and realize social control. Although the report created is seen as positive, it is understood that it does not sufficiently include the recommendations that will completely eliminate the mucilage problem.

Reminding that warnings have been made several times by scientists and sensitive circles regarding mucilage and other marine pollution problems, the opposition also pointed out that unless these warnings are taken into account by the decision makers, the possibility of much more serious environmental disasters awaiting the country. In the dissenting opinion, the solution proposals regarding the issue were listed in 67 articles.

Source: Wall

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