Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - Marine technology researchers and scientists representing tens of countries participated in International Conference on Marine Technology (Martec) held here, Oct. 24 to 26, 2014.

"ITS has hosted the Martec international conference for four times, including the one in 2002," Dr Setyo Nugroho, deputy dean of the Surabaya Institute of Technology (ITS) Marine Technology Faculty, said here, Sunday.

Initiated by ITS since 1998, the Martec international conference is held biennially, and this years theme is "The Strategic Role of Blue Technology in the Global Economic Shift."

The ten member countries of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) planned to set up a regional networking and cooperation in marine technology involving academicians and industrialists.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), in his inaugural speech on Oct. 20, 2014, had spoken about reviving the countrys past of finding riches at the sea and termed it as one of his ambitions.

Indonesia is one of the worlds largest maritime countries with about 5.8 million square kilometres of marine territory.

The state has some 92,000 km-long beach and coastal areas, second after Canada.

It is the biggest archipelagic country in the world, with around 70 percent of its territory as water and it has 17,480 islands.

The country is believed to enjoy a fishery potential of up to 60 million metric tons a year. Former maritime affairs and fisheries minister Sharif Cicip Sutardjo once mentioned that Indonesias maritime economic potential was Rp3,000 trillion ($257 billion) per year.

Despite the huge marine potential, however, Indonesia utilizes only eight percent of it, necessitating strong efforts to optimise this sector, the then marine affairs and fisheries minister, Fadel Muhammad, had said while commemorating the World Ocean Day in 2011.

The countrys marine and fishery resource potentials are still wide open for development through aquaculture, marine tourism, mining, maritime transportation, and development of marine services.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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