Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo said that the demand for fish products has been growing both domestically and internationally and therefore more fish is needed to meet demand, reports JakartaPost.
“Indonesia has potential in its fisheries, especially in the aquaculture sector. We just need to develop our skill and technology to be able to lead the market,” he said.
Mr Cicip added that in 2014, the government planned to produce 6.08 million tons of sea fish and 13.97 million tons of products from aquaculture.
According to data from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, last year Indonesia caught 5.81 million tons of sea fish, an increase from 5.41 million tons in 2011 and 5.38 million tons in 2010.
Meanwhile, the production from aquaculture in 2012 reached 9.45 million tons, up from 6.98 million tons in the previous year and from 6.28 million tons in 2010.
“We catch fewer fish from the sea, such as tuna and cod, than we produce through aquaculture, like shrimp,” Mr Cicip said, adding that climate change and natural disasters were driving sea fish scarcity.
He added that aquaculture had become the backbone of the fisheries sector, in supplying both the domestic and international markets.
According to data from the ministry, shrimp production in 2012 accounted for 36.7 per cent or US$723.6 million of total fisheries exports. The main destinations for shrimp exports include the United States, Japan, China and European countries.
Mr Cicip said that Indonesia had benefited during the global shrimp supply crisis, which caused the price to soar by up to 50 per cent in the international market.