Linda Yulisman, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 05/16/2011 10:17 PM
The government should encourage the development of the fishery processing industry by ensuring sufficient fish output to meet growing export demand, a business association says.
Indonesian Fishery Product Processing and Marketing Association chairman Thomas Darmawan said Sunday the government’s focus should be on prioritizing shrimp and fish for the domestic processing industry.
“There is a challenge for us to develop our processing industry. We have a huge export market,” he told The Jakarta Post via telephone.
He said Indonesia exported 80 percent of its fish and 85 percent of its shrimp production.
Citing figures from the Thai Shrimp Association, Thomas claimed Indonesia’s farmed shrimp production had dwindled in recent years. Indonesia produced 230,000 tons of shrimp in 2008, dropping to 180,000 tons in 2009 and 140,000 tons in 2010.
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry showed the country’s shrimp exports in 2010 to its three main export markets declined compared to 2009.
Exports to the US reached 61,095 tons last year, an 11.87 percent decrease from 2009. Exports to Japan totaled 32,185 tons last year, down 7 percent from 2009, while exports to the EU dropped 12.29 percent from 2009 to 12,191 tons in 2010.
Thomas said a recent exhibition in Belgium proved demand for Indonesia’s fishery products was high. However, local firms had to overcome raw material shortages to meet such high demand.
“If we cannot increase the output of farmed and catch fisheries, orders will stagnate,” he said.
Indonesian companies received seafood orders of Rp 274.8 billion (US$32.15 million) at the European Seafood Expo held from May 3-5 in Brussels, the Indonesian Embassy in Brussels said in a statement Saturday. The transactions covered direct purchases as well as mid-term contracts with regular buyers from European countries.
The embassy said the figure rose sharply from Rp 89.9 billion at last year’s expo.
The expo is the world’s largest seafood fair. More than 1,600 sellers and buyers of seafood products from 140 countries across the globe participated in the exhibition.