Shortlived presence of jellyfish reported in Boracay’s White Beach
The Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation and Management Group (BIARMG), led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), reported the presence of jellyfish in the whole stretch of the White Beach in Boracay on Saturday.
By 5pm, the jellyfish were washed away and no recurrence was observed on Sunday morning.
According to the initial assessment of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Aklan, the jellyfish is a natural occurrence in the coastal areas of the province in the months of May to September and is dependent on the direction of the wind.
DENR Acting Secretary Jim Sampulna said the BIARMG has coordinated with the BFAR Aklan regarding the incident.
"The safety of the public is our primary concern. We want to assure the locals and the tourists that the DENR as chair of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force is closely working with the BFAR as part of our responsibility in the rehabilitation of the island,” Sampulna said.
BIARMG general manager Martin Despi said thumb-sized jellyfish were seen at around 2pm in all three stations of the White Beach particularly in the waters and on the beach area, and in Angol and Diniwid but these were washed out in the late afternoon.
"Yesterday, the wind direction was southwest or habagat which was towards the White Beach. This caused the jelly fish to accumulate in the beach area," said Despi.
As of Sunday morning, May 15, BFAR Aklan Provincial Fisheries Office OIC Director Evelyn Abad said the team they sent reported that the White Beach, from stations 1 to 3, is clear of jellyfish and has almost no trace of yesterday’s incident.
“We were able to get samples of the jellyfish to determine its species. They were very small and appear to be newborn jellyfish. These will be brought to our laboratory for testing on Monday,” said Abad.
The BFAR has also advised the Environmental Management Bureau in Region 6 to get samples in case of a recurrence and to note the time these were observed.
Despi added the lifeguards have advised tourists not to swim in the affected area should there be a recurrence. Strategic Communications and Initiatives Service