Indonesia’s sea fishing production is predicted to rise to 7.8 million tons this year from 6.7 million tons last year. This rise can be attributed to the government’s massive eradication of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and to the ban of fishing gears that could damage the environment.
However, the sector has even more promising untapped potentials with regards to a more efficient use of human resources and modern technology. Currently, there are around 2 million fishermen and around 625,000 fishing boats in Indonesia. Around 40,000 units of the boats are more than 30 gross tons (GT) in measure and around 300,000 units are without engines. Addressing this technological disadvantage the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has set aside USD 34.5 million (Rp 467 billion) to build 1,068 units of fishing vessel in various sizes from 3 to 120 gross tons (GT).
In addition, according to Sjarief Widjaja, Director General of Sea Fishing of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, the government is following a holistic approach. Besides ships the government provides different fishing gears, fishing certificates, technology and workshops. For example, workshops will be built in 20 fishing ports to facilitate fishermen in repairing their ships.
Yet, according to Osman Sapta, Deputy Speaker of the Peoples’ Consultative Assembly (MPR), Indonesian fishermen are still behind fishermen of neighboring countries in the use of modern technology. For example, foreign fishermen already use high technology to detect the movements of fishes in the sea.Thus, modernization supported by appropriate government policies can be expected to lead to a more efficient use of the archipelagic nations maritime resources.