The Indonesian Government plans to increase fish production nationwide to 20.05 million tonnes in 2014, up from 17.49 million tonnes this year.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sharif Cicip Sutardjo said Indonesia has potential in its fisheries, especially in the aquaculture sector, highlighting the need for the country to develop new skills and technologies to be able to lead the market.

According to the minister, the Indonesian Government has planned to produce 6.08 million tonnes of sea fish, 13.97 million tonnes of farmed fish and 3.3 million tonnes of salted fish.

Last year, the country caught 5.81 million tonnes of sea fish while the production of farmed fish reached 9.45 million tonnes.

He added that aquaculture has become the backbone of the fisheries sector in the context of climate change and natural disasters.

The country’s shrimp production in 2012 accounted for 36.7 percent or 723.6 million USD of total fisheries exports. The shrimp was shipped mainly to the United States, Japan, China and European countries.

Cicip said that Indonesia had benefited during the global shrimp supply crisis, which caused the price to soar by up to 50 percent in the international market.

According to the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, businessmen and domestic investors often meet difficulties in obtaining permits for fisheries production.

The Indonesian Government has yet to provide a clear regulation for the businessmen involving directly the export of fisheries products or to process the products first before exporting them, it said.-VNA