Over the past 13 days, Turkish sea cleaning teams have collected a total of 4,929 cubic meters (174,066 cubic feet) of mucilage from the Sea of Marmara, said the country’s environment and urbanization minister on Monday.

Updating on the efforts to clear out the mucilage, also known as sea snot, Murat Kurum said on Twitter that the operations were conducted at 293 locations.

Noting that the collected mucilage has been sent for disposal, Kurum said Istanbul, Kocaeli, Bursa, Tekirdag, Balikesir, Canakkale and Yalova are among the provinces where most of the mucilage has been cleared.

“We continue our work without slowing down as part of the Action Plan to Protect the Sea of Marmara,” he said, adding that all kinds of action will be taken against businesses that violate the legislation.

Mucilage is an overgrowth of microscopic algae called phytoplankton caused by rising seawater temperatures due to global warming, stagnant water, and pollution.

This year, mucilage or “sea snot” was detected in January and then intensified and expanded in April, resulting in a serious problem contrary to previous examples, which usually disappeared in a month or 45 days.

As it continued to increase in its intensity in May and June, the Turkish authorities announced a comprehensive action plan to clean up the Sea of Marmara on June 6.

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