The Potency of Blue Economy in Indonesia


The Potency of Blue Economy in Indonesia
By Reinaldo Ragil Rompas

Indonesia is closely identified with the term maritime country, because the country’s largest territory is the ocean area which reaches 5.8 million km2. This is also inseparable from the fact that Indonesia is ranked as the largest archipelagic country in the world with more than 17,000 islands spread throughout its territory. Indonesian waters are a global hotspot for marine biodiversity, teeming with a staggering 27.2% of the world’s known marine flora and fauna. This underwater paradise shelters an incredible diversity of life, from 12% of all mammals and 23.8% of amphibians to a whopping 44.7% of fish species. The abundance doesn’t stop there, with 40% of the world’s mollusks and 8.6% of seaweed species calling Indonesia’s waters home.  This extraordinary wealth of aquatic resources has positioned Indonesia as a global leader in fisheries, ranking second in the world for capturing fish in marine areas and seventh overall.

The vast ocean territory and large number of islands open up opportunities for Indonesia to implement a Blue Economy, which is an economic development concept that focuses on the sustainable use of marine resources to improve human welfare. The main characteristics of a Blue Economy include a sustainable approach which aims to maintain marine resources in a sustainable manner, ensuring an integrated approach in managing marine resources by involving various stakeholders, and encouraging local community participation in marine resource management efforts. Besides that, the Blue Economy concept also emphasizes innovation in the use of marine resources. By integrating the latest science and technology, the Blue Economy can realize new solutions in exploiting the economic potential of the sea. All of these characteristics aim to become the basis for the successful implementation of the Blue Economy concept throughout the world.

The Blue Economy concept promoted by the Indonesian Government is a strategy to improve the economy, especially the economy of communities that utilize marine resources. Fisheries management policies are built on three main pillars, which are input control, output control, and technical measures. Input and output control focus on regulating what goes into fishing activities and manage the outcome of fishing, whereas technical measures dictate the “how” of fishing, this ensures that fisheries management practices remain sustainable in the long run. In the future, it is hoped that the sea can become a major input in development and prosperity of the population. The main concept of the Blue Economy is to prioritize increasing production sourced from marine resources, so that other sectors can also be impacted by progress in marine resource production. Productivity from those marine resources, such as the exploitation of petroleum and other marine mining materials is used as the main sector for national income and Aquaculture in Indonesian waters is still used as an export commodity which is a source of sustainable economic income because it has inexhaustible resources. 

Overall, the Blue Economy concept was introduced with two principles. First, natural efficiency, where the Blue Economy imitates natural ecosystems and works according to what nature provides efficiently and does not reduce but rather enriches nature. The second principle is zero waste, it means that waste from one source becomes a source of food or energy for another source, resulting in a living system in the ecosystem becoming balanced and sustainable. Blue Economy is an economic development model that unites sea and land development, with an emphasis on the use of technological optimization, to increase the utilization rate of marine resources. Innovation is the key word in applying Blue Economy principles in the maritime and fisheries sector development in Indonesia.