Raja Ampat, W Papua (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo observed grouper fish breeding at the Waisai Tourism Port, Raja Ampat, West Papua, on Thursday.

The President chose to directly observe the grouper fish breeding as soon as he landed at Raja Ampats Marinda airport.

Tourism Minister Arif Yahya and the Chief of the Presidential Staff Office, Teten Masduki were also present at the event.

The Raja Ampat District Government has initiated the grouper breeding project by creating a breeding center that provides seeds of grouper fish to be cultivated through fish cages belonging to groups of fishermen. The export market targets are China and Hong Kong.

According to the Head of Production Department of the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Service at Rajaampat, Rio Marten, his office is preparing grouper seeds, which will be later cultivated by fishermen in Raja Ampat.

Therefore, since March 2010, the Raja Ampat Fisheries Service has established a grouper hatchery using the 2010-2011 special fund allocation.

The Raja Ampat Islands in Papua Province is proposed to become a province that will be specially designated for tourism in Indonesia.

The West Papua Provincial administration will submit a proposal in this regard to the central government, the Deputy Governor of West Papua, Irene Manibui said on Tuesday.

The idea to turn it into a special tourism province was discussed by the West Papua authorities with members of the Commission II of the House of Representatives (DPR) in Sorong, West Papua, recently.

The legislators advised the West Papua authorities to submit the proposal to the Central Government.

They suggested that the Raja Ampat Islands District should be developed into a new autonomous region with a special status.

"Like Batam Authorities, Kepra (Raja Ampat Islands) can be specially designed as a touristic province," the Deputy Governor stated.

The proposed tourism district will include 615 big and small islands located in West Papua.

The West Papua authorities also proposed the establishment of a new Southwest Papua province, the Manokwari municipality and some other districts.

She hoped that the government will realize 10 new autonomous regions in West Papua in early 2016 or by mid next year.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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