Pen shell population on the rise in Marmara Sea

The population of a protected species called noble pen shell, or Pinna nobilis, has increased significantly in the Marmara Sea, contributing as a solution to the mucilage problem and its own existence.

The mucilage problem experienced in the Marmara Sea in 2021 threatened the existence of many organisms in the marine ecosystem, particularly the pen shell.

Mustafa Sarı, a scientist who considers these fan mussels essential for restoring the Marmara Sea ecosystem as they are capable of filtering seawater, initiated the "Hope Pinna" project in collaboration with Borusan Holding. The project aims to increase the population of pen shells.

In order to observe the results of the project, Sarı and his team identified 80 sub-regions along the 150-kilometer coastline of the Marmara Sea and scanned an area of 30,000 square meters by conducting more than 200 dives.

Stating that the results were even more positive than expected, Sarı noted that the mass mortality outbreak of pen shell that started before the mucilage invasion in the sea has stopped.

"Pinna have started to appear everywhere in the Marmara Sea, and their presence is significantly higher than the global average. We have determined that a dense population is living in a healthy manner," he said.

Representatives from cities with coastlines on the Marmara Sea, the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, the Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry and non-governmental organizations, as well as many scientists gathered in Balıkesir at the "Marmara's Hope Pinnas Project Conservation Strategy" event.

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