First sightings of moon jellies after eight years
By: L.N. Reklai
August 7, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Latest report on the Jellyfish Lake shows that number of the famous golden jellyfish remains low with only 25 large ones seen during the swim around the Jellyfish Lake. There was also no sign of the baby jellyfish indicating no production of baby jellyfish in the months of May to July.
Despite report of low jellyfish numbers, one very positive news that came out was the sightings of moon jellyfish, a native species that have not been seen in the Lake for the last eight years.
According to report from Coral Reef Research Foundation, it may take four to twelve months before any significant increase in the golden jellyfish population can be seen. This is also dependent on weather and ocean temperature.
The 2015-2016 El Nino brought drastic changes to the Lake that led to the disappearance of the golden medusa jellyfish population.
The drastic drop in jellyfish population led to a huge drop in revenue for Koror State in 2016, and also led to a conflict between its traditional and elected leadership on the closure of the lake to public.
In early April of this year, Koror State Council of Chiefs placed a traditional ban to visiting the lake. Koror State government contested the ban and filed a lawsuit. The law suit is still pending.
Jellyfish Lake, the “Ongeim L’Tketau” is one of the main tourists attractions in the Republic of Palau and the drop in visitor arrivals to Palau this year is attributed partly to the lack of jellyfish in the Jellyfish Lake. [/restrict]