Revenues from the Jellyfish Lake in 2016 went down by over $7 million, according to Koror State Governor Yositaka Adachi in a March 8 letter to Senate President Hokkons Baules.
Adachi said that because of the “El Nino” effects to the Jellyfish Lake that cause a decline in the jellyfish population that last year the revenue from jellyfish permits was only $4,446,500 as compared to $$12,340,400 in 2015.
He also noted that as of January 2017, the revenue from the permits is only $4,100 and is projected to only amount to $49,200 for the entire year.
Adachi brought up the issue of the drop in Jellyfish Lake revenues in his letter urging Congress to reinstate Koror State’s state block grants to over $900,000.
In President Remengesau’s 2017 Fiscal year proposed budget, a budget of $475,150 was earmarked as state block grant for Koror State, which Adachi said is at least half of the state block grant for fiscal year 2016.
He said that the drop in Jellyfish Lake revenues have affected Koror State financial situation. Adachi added that a projected decline in tourists for 2017 will further affect the state’s tourism-related revenues.
Jelyfish Lake is one of the major attractions of Palau, but in 2016, extreme drought has wreaked havoc to the jellyfish population.
Although Koror State did not close down the Lake for tourists, several dive shops decided not to offer visit of Jellyfish Lake to their customers because of the lack of jellyfish for the guests to see.
Besides the drought, some sectors blamed the high volume of tourists visiting the lake as a contributing factor to the decline in jellyfish population. [/restrict]