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World's Top Fish Supplier By 2015

Education & academia

INDONESIA - In efforts to make Indonesia the world's top producer of fish by 2015, the government plans to develop fisheries and fishing-based cities.

According to The China Post, to reach this target, Martani Husein, the director general of fisheries product processing and marketing at the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, said Indonesia's annual fish production would need to increase by more than 300 per cent, from 5.26 million tons at present to 16.89 million tons by 2015.

“The cultivated fisheries sector could be the prime mover for the national economy, since its production and potential have continued to increase year after year,” Mr Martani said recently in Bandarlampung.

Fishing-based cities, also known as minapolitan centers, would be developed in areas with active or potential fisheries and fishing industries, from upper to downstream levels.

Of the 197 minapolitan centers planned, 41 were selected to be pilot projects in 2011.

“From this figure, 24 are fisheries-based,” Martani said at the recent Indonesia Aquaculture 2010 convention in Bandarlampung.

Indonesia Aquaculture 2010 would serve as a forum to share experience among experts and business practitioners in the sector, he said.

Separately, Fisheries Director General I Made Djana said the ministry had helped businesspeople in the sector to forge ties with third parties, in efforts to make Indonesia the biggest producer of fish in the world.

“We have appointed Bank BNI 46 to provide loans to fish farmers. In this way, small business owners will have better access to finance,” he said.

Responding to the plan, Lampung Governor Joko Umar Said the fishery sector in Lampung had massive potential and that this province was ready to become the biggest producer of fish in Indonesia.

In Yogyakarta, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad said the ministry had allocated stimulus funds worth 1 trillion rupiah (US$112 million) to help improve fish and processed fish production levels.

“We will assist rural villagers to process both marine and freshwater fish using modern technology, to help boost people's income.”

Fadel said the fund was intended for villages in Java Island, since the average consumption of fish by people in these areas was far less than that of people outside Java.

Fadel said Indonesia's marine potential had not been maximized, adding that in many cases the equipment needed to catch fish was too expensive for those who needed it.

“To help them deal with this we will provide them with the expensive equipment,” said the Minister, without elaborating further.

The ministry would also help villagers farm freshwater fish, which were economically more promising than agriculture, he said.