If the export activities are conducted (directly) by using aircraft from Frans Kaisiepo Airport, the economic activities in Biak Numfor District will grow.
Biak, Papua (ANTARA) - Biak Numfor District is an archipelagic region in Papua Province that has myriad natural potentials, including in the fishery and marine tourism sector.

Thus, the district has the opportunity to become an international maritime hub in the Pacific area due to its strategic location, as Biak Island is located adjacent to various countries in the Pacific islands.

However, infrastructure, political, socio-cultural, legal, security, and economic aspects, among others, have to be readied to develop the district as an international maritime hub.

In addition, strengthening the sovereignty of Indonesia’s marine territory, revitalizing the marine economic sector, bolstering and developing maritime connectivity, rehabilitating environmental damage, maintaining biodiversity conservation, as well as increasing the quality and quantity of maritime human resources are the various attempts to realize development of the maritime hub.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo had drawn attention to the five main pillars to realize Indonesia as international maritime hub, including rebuilding its maritime culture.

The second pillar is maintaining and managing marine resources, with focus on building seafood sovereignty through development of the fishing industry.

Meanwhile, encouraging the development of maritime infrastructure and connectivity by establishing sea toll, ports, marine tourism, as well as logistics and shipping industries becomes the third pillar of the plan.

Furthermore, the fourth and fifth pillars are conducting maritime diplomacy to encourage all parties to cooperate in the maritime sector as well as building a maritime defense force respectively.

Head of the Presidential Staff Office (KSP) Moeldoko noted that Biak Numfor District holds vast tourism and fishery potential, so it must be managed properly to improve the welfare of the local community.

"I have conducted an aerial survey of Biak Island, and the area is very promising, especially the tourism and fishery sectors," he stated.

In accordance with the government's plan, development of the area is included in the national strategic program.

Hence, various potentials for the fishery and marine tourism sectors should continue to be developed to improve the welfare of the Papuan people by establishing basic infrastructure.

In the next 25 years, Biak Island is expected to become a busy region due to its strategic geopolitical, socio-cultural, as well as defense aspects.

Moeldoko expects that cross-ministerial policies implemented by the central government can expedite and integrate the development of Biak Numfor District.

"Biak Island has natural resources potential, with tourism as the leading sector. Hence, the security of the maritime and air space of the island must be maintained if Indonesia wants to become the world's maritime hub," he emphasized.

The key to developing the maritime hub is managing the strategic maritime and air potentials on account of their varied renewable energy sources.

Hence, the design of Biak Numfor District’s 25-year development program to become a global maritime center has been conveyed to the central government for assessment.

Marine tourism potential

Head of Biak Numfor District Herry Ario Naap highlighted that the government is preparing the region as one of the economic development-based marine tourism areas in the Pacific region.

The district's waters are part of the Fisheries Development Area of the Republic of Indonesia (WPPNRI) 717.

According to the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s website, the fisheries potential of the WPPNRI reaches 1,054.7 thousand tons per year.

Hence, the vast potential must be supported by adequate facilities and infrastructure, the district head stated.

Thus, the government plans to optimize Biak Port and Frans Kaisiepo Airport to become the export hub for the district’s fishery products.

“Biak Numfor District, located in the north of Papua Province, has enormous marine and fishery potentials, for instance, bigeye tuna, yellowfin tuna, and skipjack tuna,” Naap stated.

Moreover, the population of big pelagic fishes is well-maintained since they are not overfished, he pointed out.

Naap remarked that the WPPNRI 717 is one of the areas to be optimized to support the government's National Fish Barn (LIN) Program.

"We are collaborating with other ministries and institutions, such as the Transportation Ministry, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry, Customs and Excise Office, (state-owned port operator) PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo), and (state-run airport operator) PT Angkasa Pura to ready Biak Numfor District as a fisheries export hub," the official remarked.

He stated that through the transport facilities in Biak Numfor District, the fisheries products can be exported directly to Japan, Hawaii, and Australia.

"If the export activities are conducted (directly) by using aircraft from the Frans Kaisiepo Airport, the economic activities in Biak Numfor District will grow," he affirmed.

Sail Cenderawasih Bay

Expert staff of the National Development Planning (PPN) Minister/Head of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) for Leading Sector and Infrastructure Development, Velix Vernando Wanggai, stated that the government of Biak Numfor District is planning to implement a marine and cultural tourism event titled "2023 Sail Cenderawasih Bay."

Wanggai remarked that the event will be an initiative to expedite economic and infrastructure development as well as to empower the community living around Cenderawasih Bay.

In addition, the event is expected to open more opportunities for the implementation of other tourism activities in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.

The bay is located on the north of the provinces. There are Biak, Numfor, Mios Num, and Yapen islands in the bay.

Meanwhile, the bay is surrounded by several regions on mainland Papua whose charm is said to resemble the beauty of the Caribbean Islands.

The regions include Waropen District, Nabire City, Teluk Wondama District, and Manokwari District.

Since the waters of Cenderawasih Bay are directly connected to the Pacific Ocean, the area serves as the gateway of the eastern Indonesian regions to the neighbouring countries.

Thus, the area has potential to be developed as a marine tourism destination and a global maritime hub, especially in the Pacific region.

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Translator: Muhsidin, Uyu Liman
Editor: Sri Haryati
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