Fishery Assumed To Be Unprepared

Senin, 13 Januari 2014 | 13:59

Entrepreneurs assume fishery sector in Indonesia is unprepared to face Asean Economic Community 2015 since it still faces problem of unused land and availability of seeds. There is around 60% or more than 600,000 hectares of unused land. This problem makes it hard for entrepreneurs in facing competitors such as Vietnam and Thailand.

Apart from that, fish seed and fry are other crucial problems for the business. Though production grows, it is always lower than the demand. “Our national fish production indeed grows, but it is lower than the growth of consumption. The industry’s capacity cannot keep up with the consumption. The factory is empty, consequently price and production cost rise,” said Chair of Association of Indonesian Fishery Product Processing & Marketing, Thomas Darmawan to Bisnis (1/9).

He took an example national shrimp industry often competes against each other for raw material. Another problem is the government policy which does not allow entrepreneurs to import raw material and create added value in the country.

Thomas said, if the government indeed intends to industrialize fishery sector, then it is alright if the industry imports significant number of raw material. He argued that fisheries products from Indonesia will certainly be fully absorbed by international market.

However, the industry instead is difficult to grow due to limited raw material. Other crucial problems are infrastructure and the absence of business cluster, hence entrepreneurs suffer from losses. The distance between the embankment and processing factory can be very far, decreasing the quality of fish products.

“Some time ago, Indonesia lost potential market. At that time, Vietnam demanded for fish products, and so did Thailand. However, they chose to import from Ecuador and India. This is because Indonesia could not meet the demand,” he said.

Remaining Land

Apart from that, Director General of Fishery Cultivation, Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Slamet Soebjakto, admits there is 40% of embankment already in use. The government will exploit the remaining land this year.

“The vacant land is in Java, West Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi, Lampung, and Kalimantan. We still use 0.9% of land in sea cultivation area,” he said.

Other than embankment area, Slamet also believes that this year’s production will not surge as it did in 2013. The government sets fish production at 13.97 million tons, only increasing by 0.27 tons from the previous 13.7 million tons.

To overcome such problems, Slamet said the ministry has prepared some strategies in 2014 such as developing technology and inviting banks to invest.

Besides, he also reminded entrepreneurs to be more aware about embankment certification or the proper way to cultivate fish in facing AEC 2015 since in the future no international market will receive uncertified products.

by Arys Aditya, Intan Permatasari