The maritime sector is a potential source of income if properly and effectively exploited, Maritime and Fishery Minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo said here on Saturday (March 8).
Sharif said the maritime and fishery sector is highly potential but unfortunately the countrys fishermen are still among the countrys poorest.
The fact is that the scene of poverty is dominant in the countrys coastal areas, he said, adding 7.87 million or 25.14 percent of Indonesians living in poverty are fisherman families.
Therefore, he said he wants Indonesian fishermen not to continue to rely only on routine job of catching fish in the sea but also seek to develop maritime and fishery products.
There are times when fishermen could not go to the sea for fishing because of bad weather, he said.
"Maritime and fishery potentials are tremendous, therefore, fishermen must start exploiting the potentials," he said.
He said fishery is one of the countrys main economic backbones, along with farming , energy , mineral resources and services, not yet effectively exploited.
"Lands make up only one third of the countrys territory. Therefore, we need to change our mindset and see the sea as our futures hope," he said.
Industrialization of the countrys maritime and fishery sector should be accelerated, he said.
"Industrialization is absolutely necessary that fishermen produce not primary product in the form of fresh fish but also manufactured fish products," he said.
Industrialization in the maritime and fishery sector will not only increase the income of fishermen but also provide more jobs, he said.