|Most of Indonesia's fisheries production is artisanal Photo: Jim Holmes, FAO
Indonesia and FAO strengthened cooperation in the field of marine affairs, fisheries and aquaculture under an agreement signed this week. The three-year Memorandum of Agreement, which sets up a framework for future joint activities in those sectors, was signed by Indonesian Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Sharif C. Sutardjo and by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, paying a three-day official visit to Indonesia.
Under the agreement, specific arrangements will be made to increase cooperation in a number of areas including sustainable fisheries and aquaculture development, marine conservation and the prevention, deterrence and elimination of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The agreement also covers capacity building, education and training, research and the exchange of experts - including through South-South cooperation - as well as food safety. Indonesia is a prominent actor in South-South cooperation and a member of the G20.
FAO and Indonesia also agreed to consult on matters of mutual interest prior to international fisheries meetings.
In 2011, Indonesia's fishery production totalled some 8.4 million tonnes, of which inland and marine catch accounted for about 5.7 million tonnes and aquaculture 2.7 million tonnes. About 95 percent of the country's fishery production comes from artisanal fishermen.
In 2011, over 6 million people were engaged in inland and marine fishing and fish farming. The marine fishing fleet comprised 581 845 vessels.
About 54 percent of Indonesia's animal protein supply comes from fish and seafood. Per capita annual consumption has almost tripled from an average of 10.2 kg in the 1970s to 27.3 kg in 2010.
In 2012, the total value of Indonesia's fisheries exports was $3.6 billion. The fishing industry accounted for 21 percent of Indonesia's agricultural economy and 3 percent of national GDP.
Indonesia is one of 38 countries who have already met the Millennium Development Goal of halving their percentage of hunger by 2015. Of those, 18 countries have also achieved the 1996 World Food Summit goal of halving their number of hungry, and all 38 countries will be honoured at a special ceremony in Rome on June 16, during the FAO governing Conference.
During his visit, the Director-General will have talks with senior Indonesian Government officials including: Vice-President Boediono; Coordinating Minister of People's Welfare Agung Laksono; Minister for the Development of the Disadvantaged Regions Helmy Fahisal Zaini; Minister of Agriculture Suswono; Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries Sharif Cicip Sutardjo; Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wardana; the Director General of the Research Centre of the National Nuclear Technology Agency (Batan) Djarot Sulistio Wisnubroto.