You all are heroes (of economic development) of Indonesia.
Biak, Papua (ANTARA) - Vice President Ma'ruf Amin handed over 45 motor boats to fishermen in Biak Numfor district, Papua province, on Friday to improve the productivity and welfare of the local community.

“You (the fishermen) are all the backbone of the country. You work to get earnings not only for your family, but also for the state," he remarked.

The Biak fishermen’s catch is not only used for domestic consumption, but also for exports, he noted.

"Some (of the catch) gets exported to America, while others to Japan. You all are heroes (of economic development) of Indonesia. Thank you for your dedication and hopefully, you will continue to earn (more) income," the vice president stated.

He said he expected the motor boat assistance, which was provided using the Biak Numfor district government’s Special Allocation Fund (DAK) for the fishery sector, as well as the credit assistance from the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) Ministry to assist the fishermen in their work.

Amin also flagged off an export consignment of 1.4 tons of fresh tuna from Biak to Japan.

On the same occasion, director general of capture fisheries at the KKP Ministry, M. Zaini Hanafi, said that the boat assistance was expected to increase the fishermen's income by four to five times per month.

He informed that only fresh tuna is exported to Japan, while frozen tuna is usually exported to the United States.

"The handling of the fresh fish must be very careful,” he added.

The director general noted that the tuna needs to arrive at the shore three to four days after being caught.

Fresh tuna is sent to Jakarta from Biak district before being exported to Japan, he said. Meanwhile, frozen tuna is sent to Ambon city in Maluku province first where it is processed into loins before being sent to Jakarta and exported to the US.

"Right now, we are preparing to build a bigger cold storage, God willing, it can be operated next year, thus the tuna can be processed into loins in Biak and exported directly to America,” he added.

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Translator: Desca Natalia, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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