CoHE Launches Scientific Campaign against Mucilage

June 10, 2021 / Ankara

The Council of Higher Education, which supports universities in becoming leading institutions that find solutions for social problems by making scientific contributions in cooperation with all relevant institutions and organizations, has taken an important step towards the mucilage problem (sea snot), which has recently been on the agenda of our country.

A meeting was held at CoHE, which aims to start a scientific campaign about this issue, with the participation of academics that are experts in mucilage to evaluate the previous and ongoing scientific studies conducted at Turkish universities and the solutions proposed as a result of these studies.

CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç headed the “Evaluation Meeting for Academic Studies on the Mucilage Problem in Turkish Seas”. The officials from TÜBITAK-MAM, the deans of the related faculties of universities (Bandırma Onyedi Eylül University, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Gebze Technical University, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul University, Middle East Technical University, Piri Reis University, Tekirdağ Namık Kemal University and Yıldız Technical University) and the academics that have been carrying out studies on the topic attended the meeting.

The participants evaluated the academic studies on mucilage that have been carried out at universities and discussed the scientific methods proposed to solve the problem in detail.

CoHE President Saraç began his opening speech by stating that they gathered to discuss an environmental issue.

- A scientific campaign will be launched about the issue

CoHE President Saraç emphasized that mucilage was a situation that effected the fields of economy, tourism, fishery, and health and that it was required for CoHE to launch a scientific campaign on the issue. He noted that almost 30 percent of the Turkish population lived in the provinces and districts around the Marmara Sea.

“An important part of Turkish industry is located around the Marmara Sea. These two main reasons cause the Marmara Sea to become polluted more easily. We need to take this issue into account in our fight. The Marmara Sea is an important inland sea in terms of human health and its effects on many ecosystems. In addition, the most important and exclusive feature of the Marmara Sea is that it is a national sea. Because of all these features, our academic community is determined to carry out a campaign in the presence of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation and the Council of Higher Education,” he said.

- The related departments in the academia will get more support

Saraç said that there were 30 faculties, 42 research centers and six institutes working in this field in the higher education system. He reiterated that CoHE was granting achievement scholarships to students who were enrolled and placed in the top three in aquatic sciences, adding that CoHE would further support them.

Saraç noted that they would consider the proposals of the academics that attended the meeting and that they would convey the outcomes to the relevant authorities. He concluded his speech by saying that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would receive this working group at his office and that they would provide information on the issue.

Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (In Turkish)

Following the speech of President Saraç, Prof. Melek Okyar, faculty member in the Faculty of Aquatic Sciences at Istanbul University, and Prof. Barış Salihoğlu, faculty member in the Institute of Marine Sciences at METU, made a presentation.

After the presentations, the participants exchanged views and evaluated the mucilage problem within the academic framework.

- The scientific assessment report was presented to President Erdoğan

An academic committee headed by CoHE President Saraç presented the scientific assessment report, which was prepared after the meeting, to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The final declaration of the meeting was shared with the public after the meeting held at the Presidential Palace.

Click here for the final declaration.