Sunday, 26 February 2012


            Fish processing industry operators consider that the government is overprotective because it issued policy on prohibition on fish import. While, in fact, domestic fishery production is insufficient to meet demand by fish processing industry. The Ministry of Marine and Fisheries predicted that demand for raw material of fish processing industry 24.62% if compared to 2011 which is estimated at 1.99 million tons. If import prohibition continued to be applied, while domestically there is no increase of production, many fish processing there is no increase of production, many fish processing industries will be unable to continue operations.

            Reportedly, the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries will not issue any policy on fish import until first quarter of 2012. Even though it some regions will experience harvest failure, the government will not yet allow fish import. The Ministry of Marine and Fisheries stated that import will the final attempt taken if supply of demand of fish processing industry cannot be sufficed from other regions. Based on the Ministry’s observation, regions which are sensitive to harvest failure are Sumatera and some areas in the Northern Coast of Java (Pantura). In the early part of this year, there will be some companies who will import fish, but these companies are using the old contracts in carrying out import license.

            Chairman of Indonesian Fish Cannery Association (APIKI), Hendri Sutadinata, considered that the attempt taken by the government is overprotective. According to him, if policy on import prohibition is continuously carried out, national fishery industrialization will not be going smoothly. Therefore, national fishery industry operators urge the government to improve national fishery production. Without that, attempt of controlling fish import which is currently being empowered by the government will become a boomerang to fish processing industry which still depends on import.

            Hendri explained that there are two factors that cause decline in fish processing production, namely low raw material supply and application of import license. For example, mackerel fish which is an ingredient so that many companies planned to import. Low supply of raw materials domestically makes fish processing companies to import from China and India. “We ask the government not to be overprotective in banding fish import as it will cause losses to fish processing industries”, Hendri said.

          He admitted that early 2012 is a bad momentum for domestic fish processing industry. Unsupportive weather and import prohibition have made this industry to continuously complain about raw material shortage. Sardine canning industry, for example, due to declining supply of mackerel fish from local farmers, this industry is unable to operate optimally. 15 sardine cannery companies who become members of APIKI require 600 tons of mackerel fish per day because the average production capacity is 40 tons per day each factory.

            Therefore, he asked that import of mackerel fish will not be made complicated. APIKI predicted that production of fish processing industry this year could grow by 25%. The growth is due to increase of demand of processed fish domestically. Production from fish processing industry this year could reach 250,000 tons due to increase of domestic demand because beef price is expensive. But, with industry capacity which only stands at 35%-40% due to difficulty in getting raw material, it will be difficult to meet the demand. “We expect that there will be addition of raw material, as it is difficult to acquire fish from Eastern Indonesia due to long distance”, Hendri said.

 Business News - February 15, 2012

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