RI extremely underutilizing its marine potentials

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has so far been able to utilize only eight percent of its marine potentials so there should be strong efforts to encourage their greater use, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad said.

"We are just using eight percent of our marine potentials so we need to give more serious attention to the utilization of the remaining 92 percent," Fadel said here on Wednesday on the occasion of World Maritime Day.

He said, the utilization of the potential by Indonesia is considered still lagging behind in all aspects including the technological one compared with a number of other countries.

In the meantime, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said, actually the Indonesian marine potential is very large including in the field of fisheries and biotechnology as well as the potential in minerals, mining sector and marine tourism.

Purnomo, the former Energy and Mineral Resources minister, however expressed his optimism that Indonesia can optimize its marine potential.

"As one of the optimistic persons I believe that the country will get more contribution from its marine potential in the future," Purnomo said.

Purnomo, who is also chairman of the archipelago`s day celebration in 2011 pointed out that the celebration of the archipelago`s day will be concentrated in Dumai, Riau province with the theme "the archipelago security".

Regarding the security matter in Indonesian ocean, Purnomo said the country has placed its troops at 12 of 92 outer islands of its border areas.(*)