Turkey’s seas, like other world seas and oceans, are under the influence of chronic pollution. Domestic waste or land-based contamination plays an important role in this contamination. In particular, the delivery of untreated waste to the marine environment continues in many coastal areas. However, after the solid wastes in the wastewater  are collapsed, nitrogen and phosphorus removal should be carried out and clean waste water should be released into the marine environment. The proportion of wastewater treatment plants that perform advanced treatment is approximately 20% and this rate is  insufficient. Land-based pollution is most evident in the Marmara Sea.  All coastal municipalities should make the necessary investments in the treatment in order to ensure that the Marmara Sea, which is a small sea as an area, is not affected more by pollution (Table 1). Since this sea renews itself with the oxygenated waters of the lower stream from the Aegean Sea,  special attention should be paid to the pollution of the Northern Aegean and Dardanelles Strait. On the other hand, monitoring of pollutants from the Black Sea with the upper current is also of great importance. Thus, marmara and black sea pollution budgets will be updated.


The treatment problem also causes bacteriological contamination. It is known that Escherichia  coli rates rise from time to time on many of our beaches. In addition, the discharge of gray and black waters into the sea, the lack of supervision on MARPOL 73/78 also causes pollution of our seas. Useful use opportunities should be evaluated before the treated wastewater is discharged into the sea (irrigation, not being used as cooling water in industry). In summary, Turkey’s coast and seas are under intense domestic pollution pressure and new approaches are needed to increase the modern, improved treatment of wastewater.  There is little data available on sound or acoustic contamination that has recently come up.



Oil, one of the most important marine pollutants, is extracted from the ground under the sea and on land. Transport of oil by tanker is one of the main causes of pollution. Other substances that constitute pollution are organic (pesticides, polychlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons,   polychlorinated   biphenyls, dioxins  and  furans,  etc.) and inorganic  (heavy metals, detergent-induced compounds, etc.) that come with domestic, agricultural and industrial discharges. These pollutants have the potential to accumulate within marine life and cause the death of living things and   cause great health harm if they are used as food by  humans.  Another bad result caused by pollutants is the decrease in the biodiversity of marine life.

In the researches, the highest amounts of oil detected in seawater were reported as 540 μg/L in Sivastapol in the Black Sea, 230 μg/L in the Caspian Sea, 148 μg/L in the Marmara Sea, 1100 μg/L in the Bosphorus Strait and 592 μg/L in the Dardanelles Strait. In international literature, the limit for oil pollution is 13 μg/L in marine sediment  and the limit is 10 μg/L. Research results show that large amounts of oil are circulating at sea above acceptable limits. In addition, different oil derivatives and pollution have been detected in the bodies of marine life.

In our country, especially after the accidents in the Turkish Straits,  the damages caused to the marine environment and fishing are known. Therefore, effective studies should be carried out on emergency response, preparations should be increased, serious exercises should be carried out in this regard. Accidents in Cesme and Izmit Bay in 2016 and 2017   failed, and the relevant institutions were almost failed. Oil contaminated with seawater  is not only effective in surface waters, it precipitates as  adsorbe  to particles in the water and continues its effect for years by accumulating in marine sediments.  It is important to carry out regular monitoring studies and share the data obtained with international institutions, such as the IMO.

Author: Serdar Yener – Sinop University – Turkey

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