Koror State Speaker Eyos Rudimch said the Legislature was “caught off guard” with the Rubekul Oreor or Koror Traditional Chiefs’ move to declare a ‘Bul’ to close Jellyfish Lake to the public starting May 1, 2017.
In an interview, Rudimch said the chiefs have not communicated to the members of the Legislature of its plan to invoke the bul. [restrict]
. “We are pleased to inform you that upon in-depth discussions and taking into consideration your presentation of the alarming scientific findings relative to the condition of the Jellyfish Lake and its eventual demise if such recommendations are continuously ignored, the Rubekul Oreor have decided to declare BUL in Jellyfish lake effective May 1, 2017,” according to the April letter signed by Kloteraol J. Lebuu Littler on behalf of the Rubekul Oreor.
The chief’s decision stemmed from a letter from Dr. Yimnag Golbuu’s response to Minister Umiich Sengebau’s question whether the Lake should be closed to the public to give it time to recover.
“Chances of the jellyfish population bouncing back are reduced – as long as the Lake continues to be exposed to continuous threats it’s chances of recovery has been reduced,” Golbuu said in his April 6 letter.
Golbuu in his letter to Minister however said that scientists and researchers are monitoring the lake and that he believes that the population will bounce back, “ as to when this will happen. I do not know.”
The extreme El Nino event last year is being blamed for the declining jellyfish population of the, one of Palau’s most treasured attractions.
The Lake is a popular attraction among tourists as the Lake gives them a chance to swim with millions of golden, non-stinging jellyfish.
But there’s been a drastic decline in jellyfish numbers in recent months and scientists say the severe drought and warmer temperatures are to blame.
Several are also declining the high volume of tourists visiting the lake.
In order to ensure that the closure is complied with, the Chiefs have enlisted Ngarametal – Koror’s traditional men’s club – to enforce the Bul.
They also asked the minister for their help in protecting the Jellyfish Lake. “We seek your support for an arrangement through which national police and wildlife officers will work together with the Ngarametal in the enforcement of the Bul.”
The Governor’s Office of the Koror State has yet to issue a statement on the matter. [/restrict]