Quite the ironic fact…
Indonesia, a maritime country with such massive potential of fishery, records that the consumption of fish in the country is only 23 kilograms per capita per year.
From that data, we can gather that the fish consumption in Indonesia is less than 7 million tonnes per year.
Unlike Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, the consumption of these three countries have exceeded 40 kilograms per capita per year.
Even the United States records fish consumption of 80 kilograms per capita per year.
Japan and South Korea shows an even higher consumption of fish. The consumption of fish in the country has reached 140 kilograms per capita per year.
With the benchmark set by FAO to be 30 kilograms per year, we can conclude that the consumption level of fish in Indonesia is still below the standard.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) is targeting fish consumption this year to increase up to 30.47 kilograms per capita per year so that the domestic mass absorption reaches 7.5 million tonnes.
Numerous efforts have been fortified to reach that target. In order to achieve that target, KKP carried out a movement ‘Gerakan Makan Ikan’ (Gemar Ikan). This movement, according to Minister of KKP Fadel Muhammad, will stimulate the consumption and production of fish in Indonesia.
Currently, the production of fish in Indonesia is a mere 10 million tonnes. By the end of the year, the government has targeted that the production of fish should reach more than 12 million tonnes. With consumption as big as 7,5 tonnes, the Indonesian government hopes the remaining fishes could penetrate export markets.
Unfortunately, in the middle of the government’s target, there are still some classic problems that arise, such as, illegal fishing and the flooding of imported fish from abroad.
Illegal fishing in Indonesian waters will probably never end. The absence of rules that can be a deterrent effect and furthermore, the existing supervision in the territorial waters of Indonesia are half-hearted, prolonging this unending issue.
On the other hand, imported fish from abroad started flooding the market.
Recently, the government found approximately 200 containers with illegal fish from three Indonesian ports, namely Belawan (Medan), Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), dan Tanjung Perak (Surabaya).
The containers contained mackerel, which was widely produced in the territorial waters of Indonesia.
“Imports of fish should not be carelessly let into the country. The government will only allow the import of fish such as Salmon, Kamacchi, Kampachi that are popular among foreigners. The fishes are meant as raw materials for restaurants,” says Fadel.
If the import is approved and dominates the Indonesian market, we can only imagine the poor fates of these fishermen, having their main source of income taken.
They might just have to hang the trawls, for their fish prices cannot compete with the imported fish.
What is the condition of fisheries in your country?