Thu, 11 Feb 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Japan appears to be interested in investing in the fishery sector in Morotai regency, North Maluku province, a spokesman said.

"Its abundant fishery resources makes Morotai to have a high potential for Japanese investment," general chairman of the Indonesian Industrial Estates Association, under the Indonesian Chamber of Trade and Industry (Kadin) Hendra Lesmana said in Jakarta Wednesday.

When receiving Morotai Island Regent Sukemi Sahab and an accompanying team from the North Maluku (Malut) Crisis centre (MCC) in a safari trip proposing Morotai to become a special economic estate (KEK), he said that in his experience, in the building of an industrial estate in Bekasi, a Japanese company like Marubeni might be very interested in making an investment in Morotai.

"Morotai is quite well known in the world, and if its potential natural resources could be promoted with supporting data, it is quite possible that Japan and some other countries would be interested in doing business in Morotai," he said.

He gave a one-hour briefing to the HKI board members on the potentials of Morotai which deserved to be declared as a KEK soon.

The vision given by Sukemi Sahab was that the KEK in Morotai is geostrategically based: Its marine potentials (tuna), tourism, an Indonesian archipelagic sea lane (AKLI), and maritime industry, namely using its potential natural resources and the geostrategic potentials of the country in the Pacific region, as Morotai`s potentials are in the Pacific rim.

He said that according to the result of a research by the Sea Fishery Research Institute (1983), the standing stock in the Morotai island waters is huge, consisting of 160 different fish species of significant economic value and of 31 different commercial value, with a volume reaching 148,473.8 tons per year.

In the meantime, the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) reached 81,660.6 tons per year, comprising pelagic fish 48,996.4 tons per year and demersal fish 32,664.2 tons per year.

He also said that fish production in the Morotai islands up to 2002 reached 5,023.9 tons, which increased to 5,207.5 tons in 2003, with well spread fishing boats.

The vast coastal region and sea with calm waters, he said, made it quite possible to develop marine culture, especially kerapu fish, lobsters, seaweed, and pearl.

The fishery potentials in this region include kerapu, carps, baronang, molluscs, and different seaweed species. (*)