Sunday, July 31, 2016


Jakarta, July 31, 2016 (Antara) - Foreign countries will soon be able to access fish in Natuna waters legally as the Indonesian government is considering to invite foreign investors for setting up a joint venture in the fishery field in Natuna, Riau Islands Province.
         An opportunity for cooperation would be opened for fishery industry in Natuna, estimated to yield one million tons of fish annually, the then coordinating minister for political, legal and security Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said recently.  
    Natuna, one of Indonesia's outermost regions, is known to have one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world and its fish-rich seas have attracted foreign fishing boats to poach in its waters.
         The government is committed to developing the remote island, to empowering the local people and boosting its economy.
         And the most important is its commitment to stepping up security in the waters, in order to strengthen its national sovereignty in the isolated region.
         Indonesia has invited China and Japan to help boost the economic development and create jobs for local people, Pandjaitan, who is currently the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, said.
         The joint venture industry will be supported by thousands of traditional fishermen operating boats weighing 30 GWT and below from Java's northern coastal area as they are allowed to catch fish in Natuna waters by the Central Government.
         The government will also set a schedule for fishing period in Natuna waters to ensure sustainable fishery, he said.

         "Now, we catch fish routinely, and hope to earn around Rp100 trillion in state revenue per year from Natuna," he stated.
         He stressed that the fishery industry in Natuna needs to be boosted and accelerated because the catchment capacity in Natuna is so far only nine percent of its potential.
         Natuna will be developed into a regional fish auction center like the one in Japan, namely Tsukiji Market, therefore President Joko Widodo has ordered construction of infrastructure and a cold storage in Natuna.
         "Why should people go to Tokyo if fish is available in Indonesia? We need to build the fish center in Natuna so that people from across the world can participate in the auction there," the then coordinating minister for maritime affairs, Rizal Ramli, said recently.
To realize the idea, infrastructure, cold storage and other facilities must be built on the island.
         The government is to expedite the development of the fishery sector in the Natuna Islands because so far, catch capacity has only reached nine percent of the total potential in the region.
         "There is an abundant amount of fish but our catch capacity is only nine percent. Many foreign fishing boats have been coming there and poaching fish," he complained.
         Besides, the government has also planned to develop Natuna that has beautiful and picturesque beaches, into a tourist destination.
         At the national level, the government has set a target of Rp15 trillion worth of investments in the fisheries and maritime sector this year.
         "We have a special investment plan for private investment. We hope the realized investment will reach Rp15 trillion," the director of investment development of the directorate general of fisheries and maritime product competitiveness at the Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Ministry, Anang Noegroho, said in a press statement.
         He noted that the fisheries marketing and processing sector has attracted most investors.
         According to data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), the realized investment in the fisheries and maritime affairs has this year reached Rp10.3 trillion so far, he informed.
         In the meantime, to maintain security of fish products, the government will rule that loading and unloading of fishing vessels in Indonesia to be centralized at official fish auction centers, according to Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti.
         "In the future, all fish catches must be brought to shore. We will assure there will be a fish auction center (TPI) in every port," she said.
         She said she approved regulations, such as those relating to port state measures to increase transparency in fish catching throughout the country.
         The minister also said she would install a vessel monitoring system on various-sized fishing ships in the future.
As has been reported recently, the ministry of fisheries and marine resources plans to develop the fish auction center in Muara Baru, North Jakarta, to update it so all fishermen could bring their catches there.
         "We will build Muara Baru so it is like Tsukiji (the largest fish auction center in Japan)," she said on Tuesday.
         She said that following the development of the fish auction center in Jakarta, all fishing boats could unload their catches there.
         "At present, fishing boats enter to their respective warehouses," she said.
         The minister further noted that with better regulations of fish auctions and the development of the auction centers, government revenues would also increase.
         "We wish to make the fishing business better so that it will not be monopolized by a few businessmen," she added. ***1***
 31-07-2016 21:09:44

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