Jakarta (ANTARA) - The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a 50-percent drop in prices of fisheries products at a number of national fishing ports, according to the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment.

"This is a big problem for fishermen because the price has dropped 50 percent," deputy for coordination of maritime resources, Safri Burhanuddin, said on Thursday in Jakarta.

Due to the decline in the price of fisheries products, the income of fishermen has also plunged to Rp1-1.5 million from Rp3-5 million.

The decline in prices, Safri noted, can also be attributed to the imposition of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), which have had a direct impact on restaurant businesses. Though the sector had become one of the main targets for fisheries supply, he added.

Under these conditions, fisheries production has inevitably declined, especially from the March to June period this year.

Based on data from the Directorate General of Capture Fisheries at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, capture fisheries yields have dropped 8.10 percent between March and June, 2020. That, in fact, is in complete contrast to conditions in the same period in 2018 and 2019, when yields had improved.

Likewise, the price of capture fisheries products has fallen 8 percent from Rp1.35 trillion in March, 2020 to Rp1.25 trillion in June, 2020.

Safri said the pandemic has also led to a decline in exports of commodities, including crabs, shrimps, and lobsters. The problem of limited transportation coupled with the demise of the tourism sector has hampered exports and absorption of export products.

“So, we are also trying to balance it by increasing domestic demand or absorption," he remarked. (INE)

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Translator: Ade Irma, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Suharto
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