Can Indonesia be world’s No. 1 seafood producer?

By

Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok

Published on
December 15, 2009

Indonesia is looking to become the world’s largest seafood producer by 2015. According to Fadel Muhammad, Indonesia’s new minister of fisheries and maritime affairs, the country is not doing enough to capitalize on its abundant marine resources.

Muhammad spoke at this week’s Nusantara Archipelago Festival in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and conceded that Indonesia needs to put more resources toward development programs for its marine indsutries if it’s to reach its goal by 2015.

At 7.9 million square kilometres, Indonesia has a massive sea area, four times that of its land area, but has yet to realize its potential in terms of seafood production, said Muhammad.

“The strategy would make maritime resources the backbone of the economy,” said Muhammed, adding that fishermen and coastal communities are some of the country’s poorest. “Fishermen and coastal-area residents have been part of the most impoverished and marginalized population despite maritime resource. We want to change this.”

Poaching and overfishing remain problems in Indonesia. Soen’an Hadi Poernomo, the head of Indonesia’s statistics department, said in a previous statement, “Clearly, it’s a big challenge for Indonesia to meet the commitment to a responsible fishery management.”

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