Indonesia is the biggest archipelago country in the world. Stretching from Sabang to Merauke, Indonesia has 17,499 islands with a total area of approximately 7.81 million km2. Of the total area, 3.25 million km2 is ocean and 2.55 million km2 is the Exclusive Economic Zone. Only about 2.01 million km2 is land. With the vast sea area, Indonesia has enormous marine and fishery potential.
Fisheries are one of the sectors that are relied upon for national development. In 2019, the export value of Indonesian fishery products reached Rp. 73,681,883,000, which is an increase of 10.1% from 2018 exports. Marine products such as shrimp, tuna, squid, octopus, crabs and seaweed are sought-after commodities. The amount of fishery production in Indonesia needs to be maintained and maintained. Without good management and supervision, fisheries in Indonesia are vulnerable to violations.
The establishment of marine conservation areas is one of Indonesia’s efforts to maintain the sustainability of its fishery resources. Apart from being a form of protection and preservation, marine conservation areas also function as an economic driver through marine nature tourism programs and as a social responsibility for the welfare of the community. The establishment of a marine conservation area is expected to maintain the quantity and quality of fish stocks to prevent overexploitation.
Until the end of December 2019, the current marine conservation area has an area of 23.14 million hectares or around 7.12 percent of the total water area owned by Indonesia. Of that number, 166 areas are managed by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and 30 other areas are managed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries targets the establishment of a marine conservation area of 32.5 million hectares or about 10 percent of Indonesia’s waters by 2030.
In order to achieve the conservation targets that have been proclaimed, Indonesia must work hard. The main objective is to effectively utilize existing fishery resources and maintain their availability. With the wealth of marine fishery resources owned and good management of resources through the establishment of marine conservation areas, Indonesia must be able to become a leader in the marine and fisheries sector.