By: L.N. Reklai

May 17, 2017 (Koror, Palau) The jellyfish in the Jellyfish Lake are coming back but still very few in numbers according to report from Coral Reef Research Foundation.

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The jellyfish are expected to recover to their previous numbers in about a year time according to Coral Reef Research Foundation researcher Sharon Patris during a presentation to the members of Belau Tourism Association last week.

If no other events occur like the predicted upcoming El Nino and given the current conditions, the jellyfish in the jellyfish could rebound.

CRRF has been monitoring and studying the Lake and its unique inhabitants since 1999, right after the1989 La Nina when the jellyfish also disappeared for about a year.

The results of their research showed that since October last year, no jellyfish has been seen, neither juveniles nor adults.  Only the polyps remain according to the report.

Similar phenomena occurred after the 1989 La Nina and the population was able to recover after a year when right conditions came about for the polyps to reproduce. The lifecycle of jellyfish from polyp to adulthood is about 6 months and once they reach adulthood, they can reproduce exponentially, according to the report.

CRRF report also showed the weather affected the food source for the jellyfish, especially the tiny micro organisms that the juvenile jellyfish feed on. Without food juvenile did not survive to adulthood.

The disappearance of the Jellyfish from the lake is due to weather conditions and impact of the weather conditions on the site and not due to human impact according to presentation from CRRF.

The CRRF researchers state that sunscreen has been found in the tissue of the jellyfish but no study has been made on the effect of this on the jellyfish.

“We provide the research data needed for informed decision-making but we don’t recommend policies, stated researcher Patris of Coral Reef Research Foundation during their presentation last week to members of the Belau Tourism Association. [/restrict]