Koror, Palau, November 27, 2019 – A high-level consultation was recently held to discuss the current conditions of the popular tourist site, Ongeim’l Tketau Jellyfish Lake, given the drastic decline of jellyfish populations back in 2016. The meeting involved key stakeholders at the national level, Koror State Government and research institutes who are involved in monitoring and are familiar with the technical aspects of the marine lake’s ecosystem.
Ongoing monitoring conducted by the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF) indicated that the jellyfish populations were now rebounding after the declines that were a result of the drought conditions experienced throughout Palau in 2016. Similar conditions were experienced in 1998 which also decimated the populations of jellyfish but eventually recovered fully as conditions returned to normal. One of many marine lakes throughout the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (RISL), the unique environments found within these ecosystems were a strong argument for the inscription of the RISL to be a World Heritage Site.
Based on the current conditions and the continued recovery of the site, it was determined that Ongeim’l Tketau Jellyfish Lake had sufficient numbers of jellyfish to provide visitors with a quality experience. Similar to 1998, site managers are confident that the populations of jellyfish will make a full recovery and monitoring data from CRRF supports this expectation. While the jellyfish lake is open, management will continue to integrate appropriate safeguards to ensure the protection and sustainable use of this unique site. (PR)