Gresik, East Java (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reiterated the government`s determination here on Wednesday to make all the ships transporting goods between the different parts of the country to fly the Indonesian flag.
Speaking at the commemoration of the 9th anniversary of Nusantara Day at the Gresik port in East Java, President Yudhoyono said that the government had already issued Presidential Instruction Number 5 of 2005 on improvement of all national ships for their interinsular operations in the country.
"We wish to restore the glory of our national fleet," he said.
Although the goal was not yet fully achieved the President said the presidential instruction had been implemented to increase the number of national ships.
In 2006 the President said Indonesia only had 6,041 ships but the number rose 36.7 percent to 8,256 in 2008.
"We wish the number will rise again so that only red and white-flagged ships will conduct domestic transportation of goods," he said.
The President also said that sea transportation service by national fleet also rose in the first quarter of 2008 to 71.4 percent from 65.3 percent in 2007.
"This is what is right. What is wrong is if more foreign-flagged ships are operating in our territory. Let us become the host for our own country," he said.
President Yudhoyono in his speech also mentioned the country`s increasing fishery production. He said the country`s fishery production had risen from 6.9 million tons in 2005 to 8.6 million tons in the second quarter this year.
The rise, he said, demonstrated that the government`s decision to revitalize the fishery sector in 2005 was on the right track.
President Yudhoyono further called on his cabinet ministers and also leaders of coastal regions to help speed up development in the sector.
"This is an opportunity to advance coastal regions and their fishermen," he said.
In view of the vastness of the country`s territory of which three quarters are waters President Yudhoyono said future policy must keep the country`s development in a sound balance between land and marine natural resources. (*)