Indonesian Marine Potential Could Elevate Economy


Indonesia is a maritime country which two third of the area is ocean. Nevertheless, the marine potential has not been optimized well. It could benoticed that sea law is low. In fact, if Indonesian marine potential could be utilized well, it might be able to elevate Indonesian economy. Indonesia also may obtain benefits till USD 800 billion per year.

The aforementioned statement was uttered by Dr. AchmadPoernomo, Head of Research and Development Association of Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime, Republic of Indonesia. He was a keynote speaker of National Seminar “Opportunities and Challenges of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): Law Perspectives and Protection of Marine Resources”. It was conducted on Saturday (25/4) in A.R. Fachruddin A, floor 5, UMY. It was organized by Faculty of Law of UMY and Master of Laws of UMY in welcoming AEC 2015 and as event series of UMY’s 34th anniversary.

On his explanation, Dr. Achmad conveyed that his research revealed that Indonesia maritime possess profound potential for Indonesian economy. The results of marine resources would bring enormous benefits for the nation and the people if they could be utilized well. “If we could employ marine resources well, we would gain benefits as much as USD 800 billion per year. The huge profit would assist our APBN and we do not need to get debt from other countries,” he emphasized.

However, Achmad continued, maritime protection and illegal fishing are still happening in Indonesia. Maritime protection could not entirely be far from various issues as armed pirates and robbery in the sea, terrorism, off-shore installation, illegal trafficking (weapons and drugs), smuggling and trafficking, illegal fishing, and damaging seas.

In an issue of IUU Fishing (illegal fishing), Achmad contended that it need public concern on utilizing fish. “In Indonesia, there has been over fishing that a lot of fish are fished illegally. Based on a report of FAO 2014, 91.1% of fish in this world are exploited. The main issue is that there are many illegal and disorder fish catching in seas of Indonesia such as South China Sea and Sulawesi Sea,” he elucidated.

Hence, he stressed that that the law for foreign vessels fishing illegally should be truly established. Based on a data, most of our oceans have been plundered by foreign vessels. “For instance, last year HaiFa (China) vessel sailed to the sea illegally and deceived Indonesia security by changing the flag and BBB for times. Their voyage took 900 tons of fish and they had been back and forth to China seven times. It was the fantastic number,” he explained.

Achmadadded that, although there were many infractions, in the court they were only punished with light arrest as paying a fine of 250 million and arrested for 6 months. “If we compare to an old woman who was accused stealing wood is under arrest longer than them. You might see that the establishment of law in Indonesia is still bad. It needs firmer establishment and more concern on marine resources,” he emphasized.

Market and Investment

Marine resources are distinct from market in Indonesia. Towards AEC, markets become a significant target since it would affect market system in Indonesia. Additionally, we would engage in free markets which any products could be freely sold in Indonesia. “If we see the preparation, Indonesia could not penetrate markets well yet. One of them is changing public interest in imported products to exported or domestic products,” explained Prof. HikmahantoJuwana, S.H., LL.M., Ph.D., an International Law expert of University of Indonesia (UI).

Juwana elucidated that foreigners make Indonesia an easy target to sell their products. “It proves that Indonesian people are categorized a consumptive nation. Thus, it needs single market to confront AEC as foreign products could not govern our nation,” he asserted.

Most Indonesian people are lack of understanding of strengths and shortages in their country. “It was displayed on the implementation of Priority Integration Sector. Indonesia is a country coordinator of automotive and wood based sector. It could be concluded that Indonesian people are lack of comprehension of their marine resources,” he mentioned.

Juwana expected that the implementation of AEC would foster human resources and job demand. “It would be useless that we have sent our children to overseas school, yet they could not get a job when they are home. In the implementation of AEC, we ought to dominate and utilize natural resources well,” he ended.

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