Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The East Nusa Tenggara government and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the utilization of marine resources for improving the economy of the people in the island province.

"We are committed to optimizing the management of marine areas by prioritizing three aspects, namely protection, utilization, and sustainability," Deputy Governor of East Nusa Tenggara, Josef Nae Soi, said in a press statement issued on Thursday.

He made the statement following a meeting with the ministry's conservation area management effectiveness assessment team in Kupang the same day.

Considering the region's geographic conditions, with more sea than land area, the provincial government has continued to pursue the management of marine areas to improve the welfare of East Nusa Tenggara residents, Soi said.

To optimize the protection of marine areas, his administration is also pursuing efforts to improve public awareness and empower people.

"Indeed, this has not been easy, but we continue to carry out information dissemination and education as well as law enforcement against the destroyers of marine life," he informed.

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He said that the provincial government is prioritizing the principle of limited and measurable utilization. The community can take marine products only in fair and normal ways, not by bombing and destroying marine life.

As for sustainability, public awareness has been extensively bolstered as a means to maintain the cleanliness of marine areas, particularly along the coast.

"We educate so that people are aware of and take care of other marine biota that can develop well and provide good quality life for humans," he said.

Soi also expressed gratitude for the support extended by the ministry and the World Bank for improving the conservation of marine areas in the region.

He said he expects the cooperation to be improved to ensure the welfare of fishermen and coastal communities.

A representative from the ministry's assessment team, Hendra Yusran Sirry, said that they are conducting an assessment to improve conservation areas, both those managed by the central and regional governments.

"We want conservation area management to increase community and regional income," Sirry added.

He said that his team will conduct an assessment in the conservation area on Oesina Beach, Kupang district, and the marine conservation area in Alor district.

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Translator: Aloysius L, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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