Vessel Should Put Fish Catch In Domestic Processing Unit

JAKARTA-The government will issue new policy that required fishing vessel to put its catch in fish processing unit (UPI) in Indonesia, claimed to free Indonesia from dependency on fish import.

Previously, there was no such policy so UPI often finds it difficult to obtain supply of fresh fish. There is a tendency the catches from Indonesian waters are directly shipped overseas.

It is actually a bylaw and scheduled to be issued simultaneously in form of Directorate General Decision and Regulation derived from Ministerial Decree No. 30/2012 revised to Decree No. 26/2013.

“This March, we will issue the decision that regulates vessels with a capacity of 200-2.000 GT (gross tonnage) to put their catch in domestic UPI,” said Director General of Fisheries Product Processing and Marketing (P2HP) Saut Hutagalung to Bisnis, Thursday (3/13).

Meanwhile, the directorate also issues regulation for vessel with more than 2,000 GT capacities to cooperate or establish its own UPI in Indonesia. According to Saut, the regulation is issued since most of the vessels are owned by foreigners. It is expected to cover loopholes for those vessels which always make excuse not to put their catch due to inappropriate UPI capacity.”

For instance, domestic fish demand last year only reached 13 million tons, 9 million tons for consumption and 4 million for industry, while fish production reached 19 million tons. In spite of large gap, the processing industry always lacks supply.

“It means there a problem. A number of fishing vessels only pass by. Through this regulation, those vessels would only have two choices: put and process or sell into market,” said Saut.

If the regulation can be implemented properly and obeyed, he said Indonesia would be free from fish imports. It will allow UPI management across Indonesia to increase its utility in line with the increase of fish catch that will be put and processed in national UPI.

Processing entrepreneur prefers local fish catch that is fresher, time saving and affordable since it does not need to be preserved.

Moreover, the regulation will also be coupled with three sanctions for any violation, i.e. reprimand, suspension and revocation of license.

On different occasion, Indonesian Canned Fish Employers Association (APIKI) Chief Executive Ady Surya Ady appreciates the Ministry of Maritime Fisheries’ step to issue policy regarding fish catch self-dependency in national fisheries processing.

APIKI continues to urge the government to have a concern over the raw material preparedness in processing industry since the market grows extensively by 20%-30% each year.

The issued regulation will regulate the obligation to put fish catch in port in Indonesia. “We hope this is not just a discourse but also followed by favorable regulation to the national industry for competitiveness strengthening,” he said.

Internally, the association has applied standardization to the product for one decade even though there is still no legal basis made by the government.

Not all entrepreneurs have labeled their business, yet he ascertained that the industry has followed the applicable quality standard since there are already 260 kinds of products with the national standard (SNI) and may increase into 300 kinds of products this year.

Over the period, he said the SNI is still voluntarily taken so that the implementation requires time for socialization. This is because the fisheries products are referred to 3 principles, which are availability, affordability and guarantee.

In relation with the Asean Economic Community (AEC) 2015, Ady urges the government to immediately set and socialize the SNI, especially on small and medium industries (IKM). Up to this moment, there are still SNI issues which are still being mutually formulated among the businessmen, experts and government.”

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