"The President thinks the fisheries sector can be explored further and we appreciate his directives," said the Chambers Deputy Chairman for Fisheries and Maritime, Yugi Prayanto in Jakarta, Thursday.
Yugi made the statement following the release of the official Presidential Instruction (Inpres) number 7 of 2016 about the Acceleration of the National Fisheries Industry Development, signed by President Joko Widodo on Monday.
The instruction was addressed to 25 officials, including the Coordinating Political, Legal and Human Rights Affairs Minister, the Coordinating Economic Minister and the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister.
Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Transportation, Industry, Trade, as well as the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministers also received the instruction.
Other officials included the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education, the Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, the State-Owned Enterprises Minister, the Cooperatives and Small-Medium Enterprises Minister and the Fisheries and Maritime Minister.
Cabinet-level officials were also given the instruction, including chiefs of the Military Force and the National Police, Attorney General, Heads of Investment Coordinating Board, Maritime Security Board and National Agency of Drug and Food Control. In order to implement it publicly as widely as possible, President Widodo also addressed the Presidential Instruction to Governors and Mayors.
These officials have been ordered to coordinate to adopt the necessary measures within their particular functions and authorities to help boost the development of the national fisheries industry.
The president specifically instructed the Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti to evaluate the policies that hamper the growth of fisheries, aquaculture, processing, and marketing in the country, the exports of fishery products, and national salt ponds.
Besides this, he also requested the minister to formulate a roadmap of the national fisheries, at the same time establishing a master plan and location for the national fishery industrial area as a national strategic project.
Yugi said he is optimistic that the government will welcome inputs from the Chamber and other entities that are involved, in order to increase the countrys foreign exchange reserves while increasing the welfare of fishermen, small fishery business makers and the processing industries.
He also admitted that there are a lot of prospects in the fishery sector that are yet to optimally explored, from the potential to capture fish after the moratorium, lack of fish supply to the processing industry, to the import of tuna to meet industrial demand.
He also said fishery business makers are expected to review policies that inflict financial loss, as long as it does not harm the preservation of the fishery sector. Ultimately, the Chamber of Commerce aspires for Indonesia to become the leading country in the fisheries sector.
"The Chamber of Commerce, other associations, academics, and the House of Representative's Commission IV, along with the fishing communities will be on the lookout, in order to expedite the governments program in accordance with the Presidential Instruction regarding the Acceleration of the National Fisheries Industry Development, which is expected to undergo an evaluation every two months," Yugi concluded.(*)