Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Marine Scholarship Association (Iskindo) has reasoned that the serious and optimal management of Indonesia's abounding marine wealth can aid in repaying the nation's debt.

"It is believed that if Indonesia stays committed to developing the potential of the sea, it would be in a position to repay its debt. The strategy is to bring about immediate amendments to the paradigm and format of development to make it marine-centric and the mainstream," Iskindo Chairman Muh Zulficar Mochtar noted in a written statement on Friday.

Mochtar made this statement during the inauguration of the Iskindo Regional Representative Council of the Bangka Belitung Islands Province held in Pangkal Pinang on May 16, 2019.

The Iskindo chairman highlighted the incomparable richness of Indonesia's seas, for which optimal management was necessary, particularly so that it generates income for the country, including to pay off debts.

"The government is scouting for potential and exploring state revenues. The sea offers a solution via investment in small islands, fisheries, and marine energy businesses. The potential marine income touches Rp500 trillion per year," Mochtar remarked.

However, the Iskindo chairman believes that to optimally tap this potential, economic and business intervention is necessary through meticulous calculation, including by coming up with a new formula to utilize the wealth of the sea to make it a real revenue for the government through taxes and PNBP (Non-Tax State Revenues).

Moreover, Mochtar emphasized that the government should also promptly tackle all crimes at sea that are still rampant across Indonesia.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti had earlier highlighted the need for various parties to collaborate to safeguard the natural marine resources, particularly from those involved in their illegal trade.

"I request related law enforcement agencies to make consistent efforts for protecting and saving our marine natural resources from irresponsible parties, especially the illegal trade of protected species," Pudjiastuti stated in the Natuna waters, Riau Islands, on May 5 2019.

Minister Pudjiastuti also lauded the ranks of Polair for successfully exposing the illegal use of protected and endangered species.

Translator: Eliswan Azly
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2019