Consumption of mussels, bottom fish ‘risky’ amid mucilage invasion

While efforts are ongoing in line with a massive cleanup campaign launched by Turkish authorities to pull the Marmara Sea out of the mucilage calamity, residents are hesitant and concerned about consuming seafood coming from the sea.

As Turkish experts warn against eating mussels and bottom fish due to the pollution that causes marine mucilage, citizens are voicing their questions regarding the consumption of fish and other sea creatures on social media platforms.

Speaking to daily Milliyet, Nuray Erkan, an academic and aquatic sciences expert from Istanbul University, stated that she considered the consumption of mussels and bottom fish as risky due to the pollution that causes mucilage.

Erkan noted that aquaculture products with poor meat yield and nutritional content are expected this season since they cannot find enough nutrients in the environment created by the mucilage.

"Fish such as anchovy, bonito and horse mackerel, which are consumed the most by Turkish people, were in the spawning period in this process. We will see how much mucilage damaged these stocks with the start of the fish season," she said.

Warning about the consumption of mussels, the academic stated that mussels should be consumed more cautiously due to the current pollution, noting that these creatures feed on whatever they can get in their habitats.

Yeşim Büyükateş, an academic from Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, said that there was no harm in consuming migratory fish living in open water but warned about the fishery products obtained in the areas where mucilage was dense.

"It is recommended not to consume raw aquaculture products caught from areas with mucilage problems during this period," she said.

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