The Bosphorus is in its death throes, no different than a patient in a coma


Lerato Khumalo

In the last week, foaming and foam pollution started off the coasts of Üsküdar and Beşiktaş and spread to the Black Sea exit of the Bosphorus. On the other hand, the problem of jellyfish and garbage pollution in the Bosphorus continues despite all the warnings. According to experts, the increase in the number of plankton and the decrease in marine life lead to jellyfish explosion, while organic pollution triggers foaming. Turkish Nature Conservation Association Scientific Advisor Dr. Erol Kesici underlined that the jellyfish invasion and organic pollution in the Bosphorus will lead to greater environmental problems in the near future, and warned, “The foaming problem is caused by organic pollution. Citizens think that the foaming in the middle of the sea is bubbles left by ships and boats, but the Bosphorus is in moribund state.”

While detergent-like images continue to cover the Bosphorus, citizens swim without paying attention to the pollution. Photo: Emre İzkübarlas


He added that small-scale mucilage deposits are occasionally seen on the Kocaeli coast of the Marmara Sea. Kesici said, “It is necessary to take precautions before pollution occurs. The areas where foaming occurs are also areas where the jellyfish population is dense. The next stage of the scene in the Bosphorus is the mucilage disaster. The bottom dredging must be done in the Marmara Sea and the waste must be completely purified.” We have been seeing jellyfish invasion for the last 8 months. “Mucilage is about to knock on the door” he said.


Bandırma 17 Eylül University Maritime Faculty faculty member Prof. Dr. Mustafa Sarı said that the foaming along the Bosphorus was of Black Sea origin. Prof. Dr. Continuing his warnings, Mustafa Sarı said: “Nitrogen and phosphorus, which reach the sea with waste, are the counterparts of plants on land in the sea. “The increase in phytoplankton, which we define as microscopic plantlets, sometimes causes color changes in the sea and sometimes ecological problems such as foaming.”


Prof. also warned about the effects of global climate change. Dr. Sarı said, “Rising sea water temperatures provide opportunities for jellyfish organisms and paves the way for their proliferation. They are not instant solutions for the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus, The 22-item action plan, which was wonderfully prepared after the mucilage disaster in 2021, must be fully implemented. “We should also engage in maritime activities to protect the ecosystem, thus ensuring the proliferation of declining species,” he said.

The Bosphorus is in its death throes, no different from a patient in a coma - Picture: 2
Unfortunately, the sea and land ecology of Istanbul is experiencing serious garbage pollution.


On the other hand, while garbage piles are forming on many shores of the Bosphorus due to plastic pollution, the resulting images reveal the endless brutality. Especially along the line from Kuruçeşme Park to Rumeli Fortress, it is possible to see plastic bottles, plastic cups, food boxes and even condoms from time to time. The area where the pollution is most intense is on the line between Beşiktaş and Rumeli Hisarı. While the resulting pollution worries both local residents and experts, ITU Environmental Engineering Faculty Member Prof. Dr. Orhan İnce said, “No matter what, the picture that emerges is a picture of human-induced irresponsibility. “Responsible cleaning units should further increase the necessary work,” he says.