"There is high demand for processed fish products in the two regions," he said in a press statement here on Wednesday.
According to ministry data, Indonesia exported 24,000 tonnes of fishery products, worth US$58 million, in 2010. Last year, the figure rose to 29,000 tonnes, with a value of US$81 million.
In the year to August 2012, export volumes rose to 23,000 tons, with export value reaching US$56 million.
Meanwhile, exports to the Middle East reached 13,000 tons, worth US$30 million, last year. As of August 2012, exports have increased to 14,000 tonnes, with a value of US$40 million.
"The rising demand for our fishery products in non-traditional markets has contributed to the trade surplus in the fishery sector, which has reached approximately 78 percent this year," Sutardjo explained.
Therefore, he expressed optimism that this year`s fishery export target of US$4.2 billion would be achieved.
Earlier, former maritime affairs and fisheries minister Rokhmin Dahuri said Indonesian fishery products "lack competitive edge".
"Compared to other fish-exporting countries, Indonesia`s exports are relatively small," he pointed out.
Last year, Indonesia earned US$3.5 billion from fishery exports, while Vietnam and Thailand made US$6.2 billion and US$8.5 billion, respectively.