Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) has outlined a target to produce some 1.8 billion ornamental fish during 2020, as a commodity earning foreign exchange to sustain Indonesia’s economic growth.

"I think we will be able to boost production. Our advantages are development potential and varieties of commodities, with high economic value. Over 650 species of ornamental fish (freshwater and sea) are found in our waters," KKP Aquaculture Director General Slamet Soebjakto noted in a statement here on Saturday.

Currently, the economic contribution of ornamental fish to the export value of fishery products constituted 0.66 percent. He was upbeat about the country being able to boost the production of ornamental fish, with high economic value.

Currently, the ministry, along with other related institutions, have prepared a road map for accelerating national ornamental fish industrialization.

"This road map will outline various concrete strategies that include accelerating production, regulating trade systems, strengthening competitiveness and added value, investment, and expanding and strengthening the export market," he explained.

During the 2012-2018 period, the national production of ornamental fish grew by an average of 5.05 percent annually. In 2012, production had reached 938.47 million and rose to 1.19 billion in 2018.

At the upstream level, the ministry has encouraged the application of technological innovations that focus on increasing efficiency and productivity. One of the technologies developed is the Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) system that is able to boost productivity by up to 100 folds as compared to the conventional one.

Based on data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS), the value of ornamental fish exports had reached US$21.01 million in 2012 and increased to $32.23 million in 2018.

Blessed with abundant natural resources, Indonesia is one of the world's major exporters of ornamental fish.

Indonesia's freshwater is inhabited by at least 1,248 species of fish, 243 of which are endemic species and 122 species of ornamental shrimp. Indonesia's marine waters are home to at least 3,476 species of fish.

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Translator: M Razi Rahman, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
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