Marine and Fishery tools to increase cultivated fish production


The shortage of production tools in comparison to the cultivated fishery potential is one of the cause of the low cultivated fish production in Indonesia. The number of production in Indonesia is far behind China. China has contributed to approximately 60% of the total cultivated fish production in the world. Meanwhile the cultivated fish production in Indonesia is only 1/12 of the production in China, or 5% of the world production. This should not be the case because the Indonesian fishery potential, especially based on the aspects of coastline and number of islands, should be far higher above China. The coastlines in Indonesia is no less than 95,000 km, or three times of the coastlines of China (30,000 km). Andi J. Sunadim from the Aquaculture Society of Indonesia (MAI) saw that the key to increasing cultivated fish production in Indonesia is by increasing the Floating Marine Cage  tools. He compared marine cage with agricultural land for farming. If the government wants to increase agricultural production, then surely they need to open many more agricultural lands. “For fish cultivation, in order to increase production, more marine cage should be added. Marine cage is the terrain for fish cultivation in the sea, hence the effort to increase this terrain in the form of marine cage is absolutely necessary,” Andi said. In two other meetings with Agro, the alumni of Business and Management School of ITB Bandung gave detailed explanations about the function of marine cage as the tool for marine and fishery to increase fish production.

Generally speaking, how is the condition of marine and fishery tools in Indonesia compared to China, to the point that there is such a significant difference in the number of production?

Compared to China, the number of marine cages in Indonesia is still far behind. There are approximately 1,500,000 (one million five hundred thousand) marine cages used by cultivators in China, while Indonesia only has about 30,000 (thirty thousand) marine cages, which consists of 15,000 (fifteen thousand) wood marine cages and 15,000 modern marine cages made of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). The said modern marine cage is the product of none other than AquaTec, which has been entrusted by the Ministry of Marine and Fishery (KKP) and registered in e-catalog. The number of marine cages in China automatically boosts the number of production, which is approximately 47.6 million tons of fresh cultivated fish per year, of which 15.6 million tons come from the sea (FAO, 2015). Meanwhile, the number of cultivated fish production in Indonesia is 4.3 million tons per year, of which 1.3 million tons come from the seat (FAO, 2015). Judging by the coastline length of each country, that number is obviously significantly imbalanced. China which has 30,000 km coastline produced 15.6 million tons of seawater cultivated fish by the end of 2015 while Indonesia, with its 95,000 km long coastline, only produced 1.3 million tons of seawater cultivated fish by the end of 2015. Compared to China, Indonesian coastline is three times the length of Chinese coastline, but in reality, the number of seawater cultivated fish production in Indonesia is only 1/12 of the number of seawater cultivated fish production in China. Another comparison, Vietnam with only 3,000 km long coastline has produced 0.8 million tons of sea cultivated fish by the end of 2015. In comparison to Vietnam, Indonesia’s coastline is 30 times longer than that of Vietnam, but could only produce 160% sea cultivated fish compared to that of Vietnam. This shows that the sea cultivated fishery potential in Indonesian coastal areas still hasn’t been maximized and there are still many economical potentials which can be developed for the prosperity of the Indonesia people from coastal areas sea cultivation. Therefore, the utilization of these coastal areas sea cultivation potentials must be fully optimized by all stakeholders.

Where did that data come from?

All these times, we refer to the data from FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). That data shows that captured fisheries potential is decreasing, while the cultivated fisheries potentials are increasing, especially since 1990. Currently, the world’s cultivated fish production is dominated by China, with a total production of 47.6 million tons of fish per year in 2015. With a total production of 47.6 million tons per year, China has contributed to 60% from the total production of cultivated fish in the world. Of the total production of 47.6 million tons, 30.6 million tons come from freshwater, 15.6 million tons from seawater, and the rest from brackish water. Indonesia is at the second rank, with a total production of 4.3 million tons in 2015. From the total production of 4.3 million tons, 2.9 million tons come from freshwater, 1.3 million tons from seawater, while the rest from brackish water. Looking at the coastline comparison between Indonesia and China, Indonesia should have been able to produce seawater cultivated fish three times more than China, that is 140 million tons per year. Looking at the 1.3 million tons only seawater cultivated fish in Indonesia, this country theoretically should be able to increase production by 100 folds more. This means, the utilization of seawater fish cultivation potential in Indonesia is currently at 1% only.

What is the related tool to increase production in the marine and fishery sector?

Aside from floating marine cage with various sizes and shapes, Aquatec also manufactures floating houses as a mean to watch over the fish. Aside from its fish cultivation activity purpose, the floating house can also be used for marine tourism, research, marine observation, and other things. In Nusa Penida (Bali), Aquatec floating houses are used as a tool for tourism. In Makasar, more exactly in Losari beach, Aquatec floating houses are transformed into floating restaurants, giving sensational vibes while eating fish in the middle of the ocean. In Bangsring, Banyuwangi, Aquatec floating houses are used as the place to rent snorkeling equipment, jet ski, and so on. In Gondol (Bali), Lampung, Lombok, Batam, Situbondo, Ambon, Lamongan, there are many Aquatec floating houses transformed into a base for research, as well as homestay. The researchers can directly observe the cultivation activities in floating laboratories. Inside the house, there are small trays to collect the seeds. The researchers directly conduct their researches next to the cage and the seeds are directly released into the cage. Due to its many functions and creations, the order for floating houses is customizable.

As of now, the factory for floating marine cages, floating docks, and floating houses in Indonesia only exists in AquaTec. Aquatec is a 100% locally made product, from the raw materials to the final goods, and owns Domestic Content Level certificate which was issued by the Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Indonesia, and other products have been tested in the Indonesian Ministry of Industry’s laboratory.

What is the newest technology for marine and fishery tools?

Currently, Aquatec has successfully manufactured the submersible marine cage, which is the first high technology offshore marine cage in Asia. The first submersible marine cages were installed n Lampung and Bali. When a Chinese company saw that submersible marine cage product, they purchased one unit for trial in Hainan. Once installed, the Aquatec submersible marine cage is proven to be successful and that company decided to purchase 80 units of the submersible marine cage. The innovation of submersible marine cage started out of our concern for the condition at the high seas. Aside from big waves, cultivation activities using marine cage is also prone to typhoon attacks. Not to mention the problem of plankton booming and theft which can occur anytime. These conditions inspired Aquatec to create a submersible marine cage with a system to submerge and reemerge within a very short time. Submersible marine cage can be submersed before the storm hits, and reemerged after the storm subsides. While being submersed, the submersible marine cage is safe even during a 11-meter-high waves. The same can be done to avoid plankton booming and theft. It is suitable for cultivators who want to utilize the potentials of high seas cultivated fishery.

It is no surprise if the Hainan province government is interested in submersible marine cage. The Chinese government has long applied reimbursement system from marine cage purchases, which drives the fish cultivators in China to buy marine cages to open fish cultivation businesses. Until today, new fish cultivation companies keep emerging in China. The same reimbursement system can be applied in Indonesia among cultivators to accelerate the growth of cultivated fishery industry.

Aside from the tools, what other things can increase fish production?

The Indonesian government has been very supportive towards the people by continually providing floating marine cages, seeds and feeds to fishermen unions. However, fishermen are used to live one day at a time, relying on a one-day income to be spent on the same day. When the fishermen are recruited to join a union to do fish cultivation, many of them are not ready and simply give up along the way, while those who are able to do harvest do not use the income from the harvest to invest in seeds and feeds for the next cycle. This is why many marine cages are left empty or unused. The cages are left in prime condition, yet unused for fish cultivation. Therefore, we need a plasma core system, developed by business people, in order for the unions to get used to reinvesting their capitals and making the fish cultivation activity a continuous work. The fishermen need counsel to build their sense of entrepreneurship, so that their cultivation business can continue in the long term and keep growing.

The fish cultivation businesses in Indonesia needs leniency from the government in terms of investment and marketing. In regards to investment, the licensing process to start a fish cultivation business need to be simplified, and the license given, such as the right of use of water, need to have sufficient time period, which is a minimum of 5 years. With this, the cultivators will have legal and business assurance, hence enabling them to focus on the actual cultivation activities.

In regards to marketing, the government can help the fish cultivation businesses by reviewing regulations that are burdensome for exporting fish abroad. Many of the fish commodities in Indonesia are too expensive when exported alive, for example the grouper fish. The tiger grouper has a price of IDR 130,000 / kg while the mouse grouper has a price of IDR 400,000 / kg if sold alive to China. However, when sold in Indonesia, grouper fish is only priced between IDR 50,000 to 70,000 / kg. In order to minimalize mortality rate and increase export, grouper fish has to be extracted directly from the marine cage to the boat. In addition, the maximum size limits for foreign fish carrier boats need to eliminated in order to increase transportation efficiency, and the number of docking ports for the foreign fish carrier boats needs to be increased.

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