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Turkish parliament to probe mucilage threatening Marmara Sea

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s parliament agreed on Thursday to set up an all-party committee to investigate a slimy, floating mass of yellowish-white sea mucilage that is threatening marine life in the Sea of Marmara.

The so-called “sea snot” — a thick substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms — has surfaced in waters south of Istanbul, alarming marine biologists and environmentalists. The mucilage has also infiltrated portions of the adjoining Aegean and Black seas.

In a rare show of unity, five parties represented in parliament agreed to a joint committee that would investigate the cause of the outbreak and propose measures to combat it. The 19-member committee is to complete the probe within three months.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has vowed to rescue the Marmara, has blamed the outbreak on untreated waste dumped into the sea and on climate change.

In Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city with some 16 million residents, and five other provinces, factories and industrial hubs border the sea.

A clean-up effort was launched this week with teams skimming and removing some of the “sea snot” from the water.

The Associated Press