Indonesia to Significantly Boost Aquaculture Output in 2009
Indonesia’s aquaculture output is projected to increase 45 percent, to 7.4 million metric tons, in 2009, surpassing wild fisheries production, says Soen’an Hadi Poernomo, head of information at the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.
Wild fisheries output is expected to increase just 2 percent, to 5.5 million metric tons, next year.
The rise in aquaculture is credited partly to the Indonesian government’s efforts to steer away from wild fisheries due to increasing fuel prices. Fuel accounts for about half of fishermen’s production costs.
At the same time, Indonesia is fighting illegal fishing. More than 350 Thai fishing vessels were busted in Indonesian waters for illegal fishing in 2007 and 2008. Illegal fishing is costing the Indonesian fishing industry $2.7 billion to $3.6 billion annually, according to Yusuf Solichien, chairman of Indonesian Fishermen Association.
In November, the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok formed a task force to tackle illegal fishing. Muhammad Hatta, Indonesian ambassador for Thailand, says most Thai fishing vessels enter Indonesian waters through the South China Sea to fish in the Arafura Sea.
In 2006, Indonesia was the world’s 10th largest seafood exporter, with 857,992 metric tons of product worth $1.91 billion. The top four export destinations are the United States, Japan, Europe and China. Of the $2.3 billion exported in 2007, $1.2 billion worth of seafood made its way to the three largest markets.