Gov’t Maintains Fishery Production During COVID-19 Pandemic
Date 29 Mei 2020
In a bid to avoid a decrease in production during COVID-19 pandemic, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries has continuously produced products both from capture and aquaculture fisheries.
“We continue to produce it, we prepare protocols for the anticipation of aquaculture harvest and capture fish marketing,” Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Edhy Wibowo said after a limited meeting, Thursday (28/5).
The Ministry provided internal reinforcement, asked all department, provincial, regency/municipal heads to include fishery products in the social assistance. It also reallocated the budget to important sectors, including buying fish from fishermen, both capture fish and pond fish.
Furthermore, according to Edhy, the Ministry also asked SOEs and private parties that had been dependent on their lives in the sector and received stimulus assistance from the government to intervene by buying fish.
“We continue to communicate, it is indeed not easy, especially after the PSBB (large scale social restriction) has been implemented, it is rather difficult to move between regions,” Edhy explained, adding that distribution of fishery products is prioritized during PSBB.
This result in stable prices of fishery products after previous price drops.
The Minister also disclosed good potential for employment in the sector which reaches 300,000 people for ship crew members. He predicted 2,300 graduates each year from fisheries major with various specialties, such as aquaculture, fishery products processing, and fish capture. “They are the candidate for employment,” he said.
In the aquaculture sector, the Ministry promoted Whiteleg shrimp farming. Currently, it is preparing each of 1-hectare land of farm for five families. “In five years, there will be (an addition of) 100,000 shrimp ponds in Indonesia, both at the cost of the state, local governments, private sector, and individuals. It would surely fulfill Indonesia’s needs and become one of the sources for the country’s foreign exchange earnings,” the Minister stated, adding that currently, there are 300,000 hectares of shrimp ponds in Indonesia including those in nonoptimal conditions.
Its average productivity, according to the Minister, is under 2 tons/year, but there are also many private business actors in the aquaculture sector that produce up to 40 tons/year.
“If we calculate it, 100,000 ponds, if a pond for 5 families, there will be at least 500,000 jobs created,” he explained.
In increasing foreign exchange earnings, the Ministry, Edhy said, also saw the potential in other commodities such as Giant Tiger prawn, Sidat fish, and lobster.
“The point is how we can increase economic growth and on the other, we do not damage the nature, sustainable development. These two poles must be put together,” he concluded. (TGH/EN)
Translated by: Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Reviewed by: Mia M. Bonaedy