Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Indonesia signs fisheries accords with three countries

Indonesia’s marine affairs and fisheries ministry recently signed fishery agreements with three countries consecutively - India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, a minister said.

The extended memorandum of understanding between Indonesia and India on marine and fishery was signed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in India last January 25, Marine Affairs and Fishery Minister Fadel Muhammad said at a press conference here Monday (Jan 31).

On January 24, Minister Fadel had a meeting with Indian Minister of Earth Sciences Pawan Kumar Bansal to discuss the two countries’ responses to the impact of climate change and the need to conduct further research on the role of the oceans in global climate change, Fadel said.

The two nations’ cooperation covered marine productivity, marine ecosystem health research and monitoring, climate change joint research and observation, marine resources management and applications, he said.

As the world’s second most populated country, India was a potential market for Indonesia’s fishery products, especially tuna, the minister said.

India also planned to invest in seaweed processing in Luwuk and Banggai, Central Sulawesi Province.

From India, Minister Fadel proceeded to Sri Lanka for a working visit.

Fadel and Sri Lankan Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Seranatne at their meeting had discussed bilateral cooperation in the marine and fishery sector as well as in aquaculture, particularly in the Indian Ocean.

Minister Fadel on the occasion also emphasized the importance of eradicating Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing to support sustainable and wise marine and fishery resources management in the Indian ocean especially.

Both countries agreed to prepare a draft memorandum of understanding on marine and fishery cooperation expected to be signed in middle of 2011.

Sri Lanka and Indonesia also planned to organize a forum of businessmen engaged in the fishery industry.

After visiting Sri Lanka, Minister Fadel went to Maldives to meet Maldives Fishery and Agriculture Minister Dr. Aminath Jameel in Male.

The two ministers agreed to follow up their meeting by drafting a Letter of Intent expected to be signed in March.

Fadel expressed his interest of learning Maldives’ experiences and policies in managing their small islands.

In the meeting with Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed, Minister Fadel said Indonesian businessmen were interested in investing in the fishery sector in Maldives, according to a press statement of the Indonesian marine affairs and fisheries ministry.


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