Indonesia invites Turkish investors to build tuna farms in Papua

  • Indonesia has invited Turkish investors to participate in offshore tuna farming in the Biak Namphor district of Papua region with a view to making it a hub for tuna exports.
  • The Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries said Turkish fishing operators can bring innovation to increase productivity and ensure the sustainability of tuna fisheries.
  • Indonesia, a significant contributor to global tuna production, faces sustainability challenges due to overharvesting of wild tuna.
  • Türkiye is the latest in efforts to get foreign investors to develop Indonesia's diverse fishing industry, including a similar offer to Vietnam in January to invest in lobster farms.

JAKARTA – The Indonesian government has invited Turkish investors to help develop an offshore tuna farm in the country's East Papua region, aiming to turn it into a major tuna export hub.

This is the latest move by Indonesia's Ministry of Fisheries to encourage other countries to invest and develop their fisheries capacity. Earlier in January, the minister made a similar offer to Vietnam to invest in lobster farming.

Indonesian Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trengono, who recently visited Türkiye, said Turkish investment and aquaculture technology will help start tuna farming in the waters of Biak Numfor District, Papua Province. The minister spoke at a fish fattening farm in the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Türkiye's Gulf of İzmir) region.Tunnus tunus), are kept in pens after capture from the wild and fed to increase their weight.

„Some of our regional waters are tuna habitat, so we need innovation to increase the productivity of this commodity and ensure its sustainability,” Drengono said. Report Published on January 24.

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Indonesian Minister of Fisheries Shakti Wahu Trengono visited a tuna farm in the Gulf of Izmir, Turkiye. Image courtesy of Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

At the start of his second term in 2019, President Joko Widodo directed the Ministry of Fisheries to increase the country's aquaculture production. Indonesia's tuna fishery is an important source of livelihood for coastal communities in the Southeast Asian nation and a major food source for consumers worldwide, contributing about 16% of total global tuna production.

However, overharvesting of wild tuna in Indonesian waters has made the fishery unsustainable. A significant portion of the country's fishing grounds in the Pacific and Indian oceans have been fully exploited, leading to overfishing of numerous tuna species.

Trencono, Turkish investors are particularly interested in Biak Numfor, located in the biodiverse Cenderawasih Bay and part of the Pacific Coral Triangle, a leading location for marine biodiversity.

„It's a very suitable area because it borders the waters of the North Pacific, so the most suitable place is Piak. [and] Kupang is very close to Indian [Ocean] Trengono told Mongabay on the sidelines of an event in Jakarta.

Papuan District It opened last November Its first so-called modern fishing village was built by the central government with key infrastructure for tuna fisheries such as ice factories, cold storages, catch-landing shelters and docking yards. Other ancillary facilities include training centre, clean water installation, drainage, street lighting, waste water management installation and management office.

The tuna fishery in Biak Numfor is a rich source of yellowfin tuna (Albacore tuna) officials estimate that it can produce up to 1 million metric tons per annum. There are plans for that Expanding direct exports by air from Papua to Japan, one of Indonesia's top tuna buyers. Currently, only one flight a week flies that route. There were 29 cargo shipments between January and August 2023, totaling 140.4 metric tons of tuna to Japan from Biak Numphore, the district fisheries agency said.

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Indonesian waters also contain commercially valuable tuna species, the longfin or albacore (D. look up), large eye (D. obesity) and southern bluefin (D. Mac)

Indonesian tunas in Papua Province. Image courtesy of Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

In 2021, Indonesia caught 791,000 metric tons of tuna, with a total value of about $1.4 billion. A fifth of this catch was exported to the United States, Japan, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, Australia, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and the Philippines.

The growth of Indonesia's fisheries is part of a global trend in aquaculture, which has expanded by 527% between 1990 and 2018, with Indonesia being one of the leading contributors. In the third quarter of 2021, Indonesia's aquaculture production reached 12.25 million metric tons, reflecting a 6% increase over the same period in 2020. The aquaculture sector has also grown in economic importance, generating revenues exceeding government targets. Ministry.

The Ministry has implemented various initiatives to maintain a stable level of tuna production. These include implementing harvest controls, monitoring specific species in selected fisheries, regulating the use of fish aggregating devices, and issuing international-standard sustainability certification among fishermen. The development of tuna farms is the latest in efforts to reduce pressure on wild stocks.

The government is pushing for more tuna aquaculture in Indonesia to achieve sustainability certification and eco-labelling. There are many programs to ensure certification of sustainable fisheries, reduce environmental impacts, uphold labor rights, establish transparency and traceability in the supply chain, and manage management according to best practices.

A Maluku fisherman shows off his skipjack tuna.
A fisherman shows off a skipjack tuna (Katsuonus belamis) in the Maluku Islands, Indonesia. Image courtesy of Indonesian Fisheries and Community Foundation (MDPI).

Boston Coke Senior staff writer for Indonesia at Mongabay. Find him 𝕏 @bgokkon.

See this reporter's related:

Indonesia to reduce tuna harvest in bid for more sustainable fishing

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Aquaculture, Coastal Ecosystems, Conservation, Environment, Environmental Policy, Fish, Aquaculture, Fisheries, Fishing, Governance, Green, Illegal Fishing, Lakes, Ocean, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Overfishing, Saltwater Fish, Sustainability

Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Papua, Papua New Guinea, Southeast Asia, Turkey

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