"The marine and fisheries sector recorded positive performance for the first five months of 2021," Director General of Strengthening the Competitiveness of Marine and Fishery Products, Artati Widiarti, stated here on Monday.
Trade balance in this sector also recorded a surplus of US$1.9 billion, up 3.72 percent, from the corresponding period in the previous year.
Cumulatively, the export value of fishery products during the January-May period had reached US$2.1 billion, an increase of 4.94 percent as compared to the same period in 2020.
"We need to be grateful for this (achievement), and it should strengthen our belief that the marine and fisheries sector can improve the economy in the midst of a pandemic," Widiarti remarked.
Widiarti affirmed that her staff had played an active role in boosting exports, including through efforts to establish communication with Indonesian representatives in various countries to facilitate the requirements of exporters.
Moreover, her staff had striven to reduce export barriers and problems by taking various precautionary steps and establishing communication with competent authorities, especially in the Chinese and US markets.
The high export value came from the main commodities, including shrimp, which contributed US$865.9 million, or 41 percent of the total export value, followed by tuna-skipjack-mackarel tuna, as much as US$269.5 million, or 12.7 percent of the total export value; as well as squid–cuttlefish–octopus commodities that contributed US$223.6 million, or 10.6 percent of the total export value.
In the meantime, Indonesia's main export destination country was the United States, with a contribution of US$934.1 million, or 44.2 percent of the total export value; followed by China at US$311.2 million, or 14.7 percent; and other ASEAN countries that contributed nearly US$230.7 million, or 10.9 percent.
"The increase in Indonesia's export value was driven by heightened demand in several major export destination countries, especially in the US market," Widiarti pointed out.
Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono had earlier expressed optimism that with full support for the national shrimp export increase program, Indonesia is projected to dominate the global shrimp market.
Trenggono noted that shrimp was a highly sought-after fishery commodity in the global market. During the 2015-2019 period, the market demand for shrimp was the second-highest after salmon.
During the 2015-2020 period, Indonesia had also contributed to meeting demand in the global shrimp market by an average of 6.9 percent annually.
To support the high demand, Minister Trenggono highlighted several programs being prepared by the ministry to boost national shrimp production and exports, including revitalizing ponds by building infrastructure or facilities that can be used as pilot areas for shrimp and simplification of shrimp farming business licensing.
Trenggono also drew attention to the construction of a Model Shrimp Estate for shrimp cultivation from upstream to downstream. Shrimp Estate is an adequate-scale shrimp breeder whose cultivation process is in one area with a production process that utilizes technology, so that the results can be optimal.
In addition, the breeding process can protect the shrimp from disease and is also more environment-friendly, so that a sustainable breeding process can be maintained. Related news: Fishery exports could rise during pandemic: Marine Affairs Ministry
Related news: Indonesia to boost fisheries production and exports
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