Which Sectors Are Affected by Mucilage?

Mucilage has impacted various sectors, including fishing, tourism, maritime, real estate, cheese production, olive cultivation, industry, and water sports.

All sectors have felt the effects of mucilage, but the most affected have been the fishermen. Since mucilage started forming in November 2020, fishermen have been unable to have productive fishing. Fishing has witnessed the effects of mucilage, causing up to a 40% loss in their income. Therefore, the fishing sector has lost a significant portion of its income during the 2021 fishing season compared to mucilage-free years. These losses have affected everyone, from large vessels to medium-sized ships and small fishermen.

Another dimension affecting fishermen is the reduced fish consumption due to mucilage. The coverage of the sea by mucilage has left people hesitant about consuming fish, leading to a general avoidance of fish consumption. This has rendered even the small amount of fish caught in the summer months unsellable.

Fishermen are facing the fear of losing their income due to the effects of mucilage. The situation where mucilage makes the sea impassable for fishing is something fishermen have experienced at its best. The Marmara Sea Protection Action Plan, implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change of the Republic of Turkey, includes measures to compensate fishermen affected by mucilage.

The tourism sector is the second most affected by mucilage. The coverage of coasts, bays, and gulfs by mucilage has negatively impacted regions preferred by domestic tourists. The difficulty of entering the sea due to mucilage has led to hotels remaining empty and tourist facilities not doing business. The tourism season started with a delay, and the losses caused by this situation have not been fully calculated yet.

The maritime sector has also felt the effects of mucilage. Sea vessels had to move more slowly due to clogged filters, resulting in additional costs and requiring mandatory pilot services. Additionally, the damage caused by mucilage to ship paints and maintenance costs is expected to lead to further cost increases in the future.

Industrial facilities have experienced problems in cooling water intake systems due to mucilage. These facilities faced issues as they draw their cooling water needs from the sea. This situation has led to increased costs and the necessity of upgrading purification facilities.

In conclusion, the effects of mucilage have impacted many sectors, ranging from the financial system to industry. Addressing and preventing the mucilage problem has become a priority across multiple sectors and stakeholders.

Extracted from Prof. Dr. Mustafa Sarı’s book “Mucilage: Elegy or Hope?”