Develop marine and fisheries to boost economy

Rabu, 12 Desember 2012 | 09:09

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sharif Cicip Sutardjo has stated that Indonesia should focus on developing its marine and fisheries sector in order to boost the national economy."The marine and fisheries sector's importance has significantly increased, given the growing contribution of the sector to national development and economy," he said here on Tuesday.

According to the data released by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the sector is expected to contribute Rp65.84 trillion to the country's GDP in 2014, up 6.75 percent from Rp50.7 trillion in 2010.

"Fish farming has become an important contributor to national food security, as fish production has increased significantly," Sutardjo explained.

He said fish farming production reached 9.42 million tons in 2012, up 35 percent from last year's figures.

Sutardjo noted that fish consumption in the country was also rising, because Indonesians were "increasingly making fish products part of their staple diet".

"Fish consumption in 2010 was 30.48 kilogram per capita. It increased by 3.81 percent to 31.64 kilogram per capita in 2011," he pointed out.

"This year, Indonesia's per capita fish consumption is expected to rise by 1.5 kilogram and reach 33.14 kilogram," Sutardjo continued.

He added that the marine and fisheries sector contributed approximately US$1.2 billion to the Indonesian economy last year.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Coalition for Equal Fisheries (Kiara) called on the government to "carefully distribute the funds in the marine and fisheries sector, so the relevant targets can be achieved".

"Around 40 percent of the rural enterprise development funds for traditional fishermen, amounting to Rp370 billion, have not been distributed properly this year and have not reached the targets yet," it stated.