Key indicators in Indonesia’s fisheries sectorSince 2010, Indonesia’s aquaculture production has exceeded the capture fisheries production. More than half of Indonesia’s total fisheries production was from aquaculture in the past few years. Shrimp, tilapia, catfish, and seaweed are among the most important aquaculture species in the archipelago. Indonesia’s capture fisheries however mostly come from marine capture fisheries. Whether for the domestic or global market, tuna fisheries play the most important role in the capture fisheries sector in Indonesia. This is due to their high catches, high economic value, and extensive international trade. However, most of Indonesia’s domestic fish consumption comes from small-scale fisheries, not the industrial fisheries that produce most of its fisheries exports. These artisanal fishers have a vital role in the country's economy as they make up more than 90 percent of all Indonesian fishers.
Despite the fact that there are many fisherwomen, the Indonesian government hardly recognize fisherwomen. Thus, Indonesian fisherwomen are unable to receive official government support in the form of subsidies and insurance coverage. Women are therefore more involved in the downstream activities without an official contract, such as the post-harvest handling, selling, processing, storage, packaging, and marketing, providing labor in both commercial and artisanal fisheries. Fishing establishments in Indonesia also significantly hire more men than women.
Challenges facing the Indonesian fisheries sectorPresident Joko Widodo has focused on the fisheries sector as part of his goal to make Indonesia a global maritime axis. Despite the significant size of Indonesia’s water area, barriers to maximizing its potential still exist. Illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing in Indonesia is one of the main reasons why the nation’s income from the fisheries sector is low compared to land-based agriculture. Inefficiencies in law enforcement and value chains have also led to fish losses, in both quantity and quality.
With the impact of overfishing and climate change taking a toll on Indonesia’s fisheries sector, it urgently needs new approaches to fisheries management including conservation and environmental considerations. Implementing better management will not only secure Indonesia’s economy and livelihoods but also reduce the food security threats of Indonesians.