Aquaculture in Indonesia: How to Start Digitalized Fisheries

The digitization of aquaculture might help to boost marine and fisheries industry to attract more investors.

What is Aquaculture?

Aquaculture is the process of cultivating aquatic organisms specifically for human consumption. It involves the cultivation of fisheries. This activity is often referred to as fish farming. A number of countries conduct aquaculture. The activity can be done in coastal ocean waters, freshwater ponds, and rivers.

The process of aquaculture differs when cultivating one species to another. However, the general process goes through four different stages. The very first stage in the production chain is the hatchery. In this stage, fish eggs are hatched and reared through the early stages of life.

Once the fish reach sufficient maturity, they are then transferred to a farm, where they are then cultivated to reach harvest size. The harvesting activity in aquaculture is usually done by utilizing food produced at feed mills. Following the step mentioned before, the fish are then transferred to a processing facility, where they are then packaged and sent to food retailers and stores.

Primarily, aquaculture is done to ensure food security as the need to feed the entire population increases steadily each day. In addition to this, aquaculture improves the health of our planet and the general population. It allows the provision of healthy, nutritious food.

Compared to the cultivation of other animals, aquaculture is the most resource-efficient and is least damaging to the environment. An added benefit from this process is the job opportunities it creates for numerous people interested in making a living out of cultivating fisheries.

The Realization of Fishery in Indonesia

Indonesia is the second-largest seafood producer globally, placing the fishery sector as one of the most important. This sector produces over 3000 species of fish and employs over 12 million Indonesian workers.

The Indonesian fishery landscape continues to evolve over the years by using technologies to monitor fish stocks, track fishing vessels, and develop species identification technology. This is made possible through the investments that continue to flood the sector.

Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries revealed that the investment in the industry made during 2021 alone had reached USD 419 million. International investors are primarily from Singapore, Switzerland, India, Japan, and China, while domestic investors are mainly from East Java, West Java, Central Java, and Lampung.

The Indonesian government has also implemented a microloan disbursement to this sector to 231,329 debtors. This system has benefited many business operators and pushed for a growth of 33.4%.

Alongside such attempts, the minister has also attempted to conduct marine conservation. Illegal fishing is also a matter of prominent concern as the ministry has rightfully detained up to 167 illegal fishing ships throughout the year.

Development of Aquaculture in the Digital Era

When beginning his second term in office, President Joko Widodo clarified that the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries should focus on boosting the country’s aquaculture productivity.

Indonesia remains the top producer of fisheries. The fishery sector alone contributed to USD 1.94 million in non-tax state revenue for 2021. While Indonesia strives to ensure continuous growth, experts have urged them to guarantee sustainable environmental planning. This is integral in land clearing and waste management.

The wave of digitization has also washed over the aquaculture sector. Despite the abundance of supply in Indonesia, the fisheries sector still faces production problems such as feeding inefficiencies, diseases, cultivation technology, and more.

Several startups have joined hands to solve the prominent issue that clouds the industry to make fish farming more accessible and more efficient. Many Indonesian aquaculture startups have prompted the formation of the Digifish Network, which is a hub for integrated aquaculture business and information.

The system aims to become a leading digital innovation ecosystem for marine and fisheries in Indonesia. The Digifish Network already has more than 30 startups focused on creating technology that allows them to check water parameters quickly and precisely. Aside from this, several startups have also focused on water treatment.

How to Invest in the Development of Indonesia’s Aquaculture

An investor seeking to invest in Indonesia’s aquaculture sector can do so by registering via the Online Single Submission system, which allows businesses to obtain their business licenses and commercial permits. There are a few permits that are required for the fishery sector, which include:

  • Fish Capture Permits (Surat Izin Penangkapan Ikan, SIPI)
  • Fish Transport Permits (Surat Izin Kapal Pengangkut Ikan, SIKPI)
  • Fish Transport Registration Certificates (Tanda Pencatatan Kapal Pengangkut Ikan)
  • Vessel Procurement Permits (Izin or Persetujuan Pengadaan Kapal)
  • Transmitter Activation Certificates (Surat Keterangan Aktivasi Transmitter, SKAT)
  • Certificate of Shipworthiness for Fish Capture Vessels (Surat Laik Operasi Kapal Perikanan, SLO)
  • Vessel Certifications (Sertifikasi Bidang Perkapalan)
  • Sailing Permits (Surat Persetujuan Berlayar, SPB)
  • Breeding Permits (Izin Pemuliaan)
  • Release Permits (Izin Pelepasan)

It is to be noted that foreign investors must get a recommendation for fish farming investment and the licenses above. Due to the complex nature of Indonesian regulations, Cekindo offers services such as company registration, business licensing, and recruitment to further assist foreigners in investing in Indonesia.

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Verified by:​

Pandu Biasramadhan

Pandu is the Consulting Manager at Cekindo. He has extensive experience in working with government agencies. Notably, he has provided market-entry solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managed regional partnership channels in Southeast Asia. At Cekindo, Pandu aspires to lead the consulting team to provide top-quality market-entry services and maintain a portfolio of global clientele. His specialty is market-entry advisory and business process outsourcing.