"We will make it a priority under the national program on the Indonesian Maritime Policy to turn Indonesia into the world's maritime axis," Panjaitan said here on Monday.
Describing the program, which was launched on Monday, he said it was initiated by the ministry and supported by some state enterprises and the Association of Indonesian Islands and Coastal Region Governments (Aspeksindo).
The program would be implemented in 300 districts and cities in coastal areas across the country and by the end of 2019, it is targeted to rope in 300 thousand fishermen as participants.
Under the program, the monthly income of the fishermen is expected to increase to at least Rp10 million. It is also expected to create an integrated and efficient marketing method with a shorter supply chain, and provide information on fish distribution.
CEO FishOn Fajar Widisasono said that with the support of the FishOn platform, fishermen could exploit the country's ocean wealth. "Fishermen will get technology and marketing support from FishOn," Widisasono said.
FishOn is an Android-based navigation platform to locate fish in the ocean, preserve and sell fish, communicate or chat, has an electronic payment getaway connected to the fishermen cooperative unit, and it can also serve as a logbook and panic button during emergency situations.
According to data of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), only 7 percent of Indonesia's ocean wealth that amounted to US$2.5 trillion per year could be exploited in 2017 due to limited technology.
While the number of fishermen in 2017 has continued to decline to 2.7 million, according to a data of the Marine and Fisheries Ministry, most of them are living under the poverty line and have contributed 25 percent to the national poverty rate.