bne IntelliNews – Jellyfish invasion threat to Turkey’s tourism ambitions

Türkiye’s seas are under attack from an invasive species of jellyfish.

Plagued by swarms of unsightly needles, the country’s woes parallel the unbearable summer temperatures that increasingly hit Mediterranean resorts as part of climate change, making it Europe’s second-most popular tourist destination after Spain, leapfrogging France. This poses a threat to the realistic prospect of becoming a land.

Rising water temperatures caused by the climate crisis and pollution are creating favorable conditions for jellyfish proliferation. Jellyfish populations along Turkey’s coastline have increased rapidly in recent years, particularly in the Sea of ​​Marmara and the Mediterranean Sea. Hurriyat It was reported on February 27th.

Beachgoers and swimmers are being told not to touch the jellyfish as they are poisonous and can cause severe stings.

Turkey’s National Jellyfish and Gelatinous Observation Program recently warned “sea enthusiasts and marine enthusiasts” that “due to changes in the climate and food chain, jellyfish outbreaks have increased in the Mediterranean and Black Seas in recent years.” recommended. Furthermore, new alien jellyfish, such as ‘Resepsia sp.’, which entered our oceans via the Suez Canal, are currently causing significant problems in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin.

“These jellyfish and gelatinous creatures clog fishing nets and damage our fisheries. Meanwhile, some poisonous species can pose a nuisance to bathers, especially infants and the elderly. It is therefore known that thousands of people have been hospitalized due to jellyfish stings both in Europe and in our country. ”

daily life in Türkiye Hurriyat We spoke to Melek Isinibilir Okyar, an academic who is leading a project to investigate the reasons behind the rapid increase in jellyfish numbers. He said the proliferation of jellyfish is often a precursor to the formation of mucus in the sea, and those seeking to protect the Marmara Sea have faced this dilemma in recent years amid Turkey’s infamous fight against the “snot in the sea” crisis. He pointed out that he was troubled.

“As winter temperatures rise, there is a risk of slime. Jellyfish also play a catalytic role in the formation of slime. As the jellyfish multiply and die, they begin to decompose, leading to lower oxygen levels and the accumulation of dissolved organic matter. ” said Okiyar.

“When temperature accelerates this process, slime forms in the environment. If there is organic matter that sticks to that environment, it starts to accumulate and eventually becomes a clump,” she added.

The southern city of Mersin, a tourist destination on the Mediterranean coast, is among the places where beaches are overrun with jellyfish, causing alarm among locals and tourists.

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