Indonesia considers foreign investors to set up joint fishery company in Natuna

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is considering to invite foreign investors for setting up a joint venture in the fishery field in Natuna, Riau Islands Province.

An opportunity for cooperation would be opened for fishery industry in Natuna, estimated to yield one million tons of fish annually, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said at a gathering over a coffee in the morning with the press here on Wednesday.

Indonesia has invited China and Japan to help boost the economic development and create jobs for local people, he added.

The joint venture industry will be supported by thousands of traditional fishermen operating boats weighing 30 GWT and below from Javas northern coastal area as they are allowed to catch fish in Natuna waters by the Central Government.

The government will also set a schedule for fishing period in Natuna waters to ensure sustainable fishery, he said.

"Now, we catch fish routinely, and hope to earn around Rp100 trillion in state revenue per year from Natuna," he stated.

President Joko Widodo has ordered construction of infrastructure and a cold storage in Natuna. Natuna will be developed into a regional fish auction center like the one in Japan.

He stressed that the fishery industry in Natuna needs to be boosted and accelerated because the catchment capacity in Natuna is so far only nine percent of its potential.

Natuna, one of Indonesias outermost regions, is known to have one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world and its fish-rich seas have attracted foreign fishing boats to poach in its waters.

To stop such poaching, President Joko Widodos (Jokowis) administration is determined to protect the countrys natural resources and declare an all out fight against illegal fishing activities.(*)