Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia
East Ventures


5 April, 2023


Accelerating sustainable marine and fishery development: Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia

Indonesia is expected to face a perfect storm due to the global recession, energy crisis, and geopolitical tensions that affect various sectors. What strategies does the government prepare to deal with the phenomenon? 

With Indonesia’s abundant marine and fishery resource potential, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) is accelerating sustainable marine and fishery development to support economic resilience, quality, and just growth by prioritizing ecology as the commander-in-chief based on the principles of  the blue economy.

It is implemented through 5 priority programs, namely: expansion of water conservation area; measured fishing based on quotas and fishing zones; development of environmentally friendly marine, coastal and inland aquaculture, with export-oriented superior commodities (shrimp, lobster, crab and seaweed), as well as commodities according to local wisdom for poverty alleviation; sustainable coastal and small island management; and handling and management of marine debris.

In 2021, the value of Indonesia’s digital economy has reached US$ 63 billion and continues to grow, expected to reach US$ 360 billion by 2030.  What are the government’s efforts to maintain growth momentum amid the threat of a perfect storm?

To maintain the momentum of digital growth in Indonesia,  MMAF continues to accelerate digital transformation for fisheries businesses. Digitalization of MSMEs is one of the main focuses of accelerating the development of fisheries MSMEs in terms of increasing and expanding marketing reach, business management, availability of raw materials (production), increased access and expansion of financing schemes, and business partnerships.

The development of fishery startups is expected to optimize the potential of fishery businesses. For example, eFishery (MMAF’s fostered partner), has now grown into a startup with Unicorn status that has connected with more than 10,000 fish farmers in more than 200 districts/cities throughout Indonesia. Likewise, fisheries MSMEs joined #PasarLautIndonesia as part of the National Proud of Indonesian Movement.

In addition, MMAF also expanded market access through digitalization of fish marketing by developing online-based fish marketing with parties to support affordability and Fulfillment of community nutrition/protein needs. One of them is by shopping for fish from home through the  MMAF Fish Wholesale Store.

Currently, the digital competitiveness gap still exists in some regions.  What is the government’s strategy to encourage investment and digital equity to all regions?

MMAF’s strategy in encouraging increased investment in the marine and fisheries sector are: preparation of materials and information on investment opportunities that are ready to offer based on: superior commodities, priority regions/areas, and  MMAF’s breakthrough programs; promotion of business and investment opportunities; and policy synergy and ease of doing business and investment incentives with relevant agencies.

Digital equalization strategies for marine and fisheries business actors include: development of millennial startups; digitalization of marine and fisheries MSMEs; development of applications to facilitate fisheries business management, for example through the National Fish Traceability and Logistics System (STELINA); socialization of access to business licensing online based on OSS; increasing market access through #pasarlautindonesia in the context of marketing digitalization in collaboration with e-commerce and marketplaces; and promotion of Gemarikan through social media and media.

Online activities and digital consumption have increased in recent years. What are the government’s efforts to balance online and offline activities to encourage digital economic inclusiveness?

The MMAF is also trying to balance online and offline activities to encourage the digital economy of the marine and fisheries sector. One example is MMAF encouraged digital platform startups such as eFishery to be directly involved in financing/investing to develop shrimp ponds. Currently, eFishery has collaborated on investments with cultivators in the Provinces of Aceh and East Java in developing vanamei shrimp farming businesses through revitalizing existing ponds.

MMAF encourages and facilitates fisheries MSMEs to join e-commerce platforms that have synergized with MMAF to develop digital marketing, provision of marketing facilities (modern fish markets, clean fish markets, revitalization of traditional fish markets and culinary centers), and facilitate offline and virtual bazaars and exhibitions.

In the midst of digital economy disruptions, what challenges and opportunities are faced in building collaboration with the private sector? What are the strategies undertaken to optimize these synergies?

Challenges and opportunities in building collaboration with the private sector in building a digital economy in the marine and fisheries sector include: marine potential has not been touched by many business actors, fisheries business actors, especially fishermen, are scattered in coastal areas most of them are still untouched by technology and distribution access.

There are no fishery business actors who focus on developing certain commodities because different commodities will have different methods, methods ,and business development strategies. As the spearhead of the digital economy, most fisheries startups currently only focus on intermediate business activities, and do not dare to take the risk to enter directly into upstream and downstream businesses or integrate from upstream to downstream.

MMAF’s strategy to respond to these challenges and opportunities is to involve digital fisheries economic activists in MMAF activities so that they can collaborate and synergize with each other in accelerating the development of the marine and fisheries sector by making extensive use of the concept of economic digitalization. As was done in May 2022, through Fisheries Startup + Millennial Expo 2022, MMAF invites national fisheries startups and millennial entrepreneurs to jointly exploit technological innovations in the marine and fisheries sector which are expected to continue to be developed in a sustainable manner and synergy with other programs with the priority programs of the MMAF.

Sustainable development is an important aspect of providing access to development that is just and inclusive, and protecting the environment. What are the government’s efforts to encourage a digital economy that is aligned with sustainable development goals?

In every fishery business development, MMAF always socializes the implementation of the Blue Economy concept in the maritime and fishery sector. The economy of the marine and fisheries sector is closely related to the availability of natural resources and environmental sustainability. Digital economy players must understand that the development of a fishing business needs to be managed as best as possible by implementing the Blue Economy concept so that the business can develop in a sustainable manner to generate greater profits in the future.

The MMAF promotes the blue economy program to maintain ecological health and sustainable national economic growth. What are the short, medium, and long term plans for the program?

The MMAF continues to strive to encourage the application of the blue economy concept to create a balance in the marine ecosystem, namely ecology and economy. The concept of the blue economy is not only useful for maintaining the health of the ocean, it will also be able to open up investment opportunities, jobs, and equitable distribution of national economic growth.

The MMAF’s policy strategy in describing the blue economy, namely expanding the conservation area with a target of 30% as a closed conservation area to maintain the carbon absorption function and make the conservation area a fish spawning area, also protecting coastal areas and small islands against potential damage due to uncontrolled economic activities.

Sea fishing will be regulated by implementing a measurable fishing policy based on catch quotas determined by the government based on six fishing zones. Then, development of environmentally friendly aquaculture in the sea, coastal and land areas. Cultivation activities will be focused on superior fishery products such as shrimp, crab, lobster, seaweed, and fish with high economic value.

MMAF also implements the “Love the Sea Month” program. As for Indonesia’s commitment to keeping the sea areas clean and free of plastic waste, one of our main programs is to clean up the seas throughout Indonesia. Local fishermen and industrial fishermen are asked to clean and collect garbage at sea one month in each fishing year.

What form of collaboration is needed by the MMAF to make the blue economy program successful? Given the lack of fish cultivators who have utilized digital technology. 

Synergy and collaboration are the keywords for realizing the success of marine and fisheries development, in order to increase productivity and responsible governance to realize community welfare and sustainable marine and fisheries resources.

In developing the digitalization of marine and fisheries MSMEs, especially fish cultivators, MMAF has collaborated with related startups, including eFishery,, Jala, Minapoli, Banoo, Mina Ceria, Eden Farm, and Venambak. The collaboration started with the development of shrimp commodities and the location of the Aquaculture Fisheries Village.

The focus of the current cooperation is accelerating the increase in aquaculture production, especially for superior commodities such as: shrimp, seaweed, lobster and crab. Collaboration that is urgently needed next in order to increase the added value of fishery products is with the fishery product processing industry. In addition, collaboration with fishery product exporters must also be carried out with the aim of spurring the growth of fishery product exports.

Download the EV-DCI 2023 here.