Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Government is committed to achieving the target of expanding marine conservation areas to 30 percent of the Indonesian waters by 2045, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sakti Wahyu Trenggono stated.

"Marine protection areas are conservation zones. We are aiming to expand such zones to 30 percent of the Indonesian territorial waters by the year 2045," he remarked during the Indonesia Marine and Fisheries Business Forum 2024 in Jakarta on Monday.

He underscored that currently marine conservation areas cover 28.9 million hectares of waters, or equivalent to 8.7 percent of the total area of Indonesian waters that span 6.4 million square kilometers.

The minister affirmed that such areas play a critical role in ensuring the sustainability of the country's fishery resources.

"Conservation areas are of the essence in ensuring sustainability, considering that these zones serve as natural spawning places for fish. Hence, no fishing and commercial vessels should pass through such areas," he emphasized.

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In addition to fish spawning spots, the minister highlighted that marine conservation areas wield a fivefold higher capacity in absorbing carbon emissions as compared to land areas.

Trenggono also accentuated that Indonesian marine conservation areas store enormous potentials, such as 58 thousand hectares of seagrass meadow, 1.2 million hectares of coral reefs, 211 thousand hectares of mangrove, and 30 percent of the country's main fish spawning spots.

Bearing that in mind, the minister urged officials at his office and regional governments to ensure that marine conservation areas are free from shipping activities in the hopes of protecting marine ecosystems from potential damages.

Trenggono then remarked that his office had invited the ambassador of the Philippines to Indonesia to the forum, as he assessed that the Philippines had been demonstrating better ways in managing its marine conservation areas.

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Translator: Sinta A, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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