Indonesian National Maritime Day

Luthfil Hadi - Jakarta, 24/09/2018, 11:55


Indonesian National Maritime day always being commemorated on September 23rd every year. The first Indonesian national maritime day was on 1964, it means the national maritime day is already 54 years old.

President Soekarno decided that September 23rd is the national maritime day on 1964. The decision is written in the Presidential decree number 249/1964 which regulated the determination of September 23rd as the national maritime day. Since the publishing of the presidential decree, Indonesian celebrate September 23rd as national maritime day.

Indonesia is an archipelagic country with approximately 5.9 million kilometres square of ocean area. The ocean area consist of 2 parts, the territorial waters and economic exclusive zone. The territorial water of Indonesia area is around 3.2 million kilometres square, while the economic exclusive zone is 2.7 kilometres square. These fact has been recognized by the United Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982. With that big oceanic area, Indonesia is one of the biggest archipelagic country in the world.

Furthermore, Indonesia has more than 17,500 islands, both big and small islands. And 16,056 of those islands has been recognized by the UN. But as the biggest archipelagic country in the world, Indonesia has a fundamental problem on the islands connectivity.

The connectivity problems drive the Indonesian President, President Joko Widodo to initiate the Indonesian maritime identity strengthening program. President Joko Widodo has vision to return Indonesian maritime glory by developing the maritime sector.

One of the developed sector is ports and sea toll. The sea toll program is being enacted to increase the connectivity between islands in Indonesia. By increasing the connectivity, the government hopes to reduce the price disparity and to spread the welfare and the development evenly.

Not only that, the government also hopes the using of sea toll and construction of ports as a means to improve connectivity will bring Indonesia closer to achieve their dream to become the Global Maritime Fulcrum. With strong ports infrastructure, the government hopes to improve the nation’s maritime industries.

There are 13 new sea toll routes being operated in 2017. PT Pelni serve 6 of them, while the rest is served by private sector who obtain the operating rights through the auction for operating rights. Those 13 new routes indicated that the sea toll is already being supported by a capable distribution and goods consolidation system.

Strategically located in Khatulistiwa, Indonesia possess a great wealth of marine resources. Not only in number, but also in the variety of its resources. Indonesia has approximately 2000 species of fish in its ocean, while the world only possess around 7000 species of fish in total. It means that Indonesia possess more than 25 percent of world’s fish species. Moreover, Indonesia has 400 species of coral reefs and various type of sea algae. Indonesia can be said to be a country which has the largest ocean biodiversity in the world.

The sustainable potential of fish in Indonesian ocean is predicted to be more than 6 million tons per year. It shows how great Indonesian resources. To prevent overfishing, the government only allows the fishing up to 80 percent of sustainable potential of fish. It also aims to maintain the marine ecosystem balance.

Indonesian ocean also has the potential to be used to cultivate various marine biota, such as shrimps, prawns, fish, and seaweed. With the area of 1.5 million hectares it can produce up to more than 40 million tons per year from the cultivated marine biota.

With the maximum catch of fish amount up to 5 million tons per year and cultivation potential up to 40 million tons per year, their value is estimated to be around USD 75 billion per year. USD 15 billion from the captured fish, USD 46 billion from the marine biota cultivation, USD 10 billion from fishpond, and USD 4 billion from marine biotech. The government needs to counsel the people about the importance of marine resources and fishing as the pillar that could improve people’s welfare.

Not only biological wealth, Indonesian ocean also possess other resources such as natural gas and petroleum. About 70 percent of natural gas and petroleum produced by Indonesia is located in coastal and sea area. In 2017, Indonesian petroleum potential is predicted to reach 11 billion barrels, and the natural gas is predicted to be around 110 trillion cubic.

With such great amount of marine resources, it is reasonable if the government aspire to make Indonesia as the Global Maritime Fulcrum by developing the maritime sector. Starting by the construction of ports across the nation to support the sea toll, improving the safety and security of maritime sector, improving a sustainable fishing industries, proposing the blue economy cooperation, improving the marine tourism, and strengthening marine science and technologies.

Strategic position and a beautiful nature that is difficult to match, Indonesia possess a high economical potential from the tourism district. The government need to develop the tourism industries in Indonesia, especially marine tourism because Indonesia is blessed with not only lots of beautiful island and beaches but also beautiful underwater ecosystem.

The official guiding in Malaka Strait and Singapore Strait conducted by Indonesia shows that Indonesia is starting to become independence in the maritime sector. The guiding aims to improve the safety and security in the shipping sector, maritime environment protection, and to maintain Indonesian territorial sovereignty.

With limited budget possessed by the nation, the government keeps trying to develop existing ports and also constructing new ports all across the country. The methods taken by the government is the cooperation in the use of state goods (BMN) between the government and the operator. Any state-owned enterprises or private company who wish to become port operator can cooperate with the government to develop the ports by obtaining the rights to operate through the auction of ports operating and management rights. Using the fund obtained from the auction, the government can continue to develop Indonesian ports.

By using the BMN system, government does not need to rely on other parties. This has become the first step to become independent in the maritime sector, and also a step for Indonesia to dominate the global maritime sector. With the maritime independency, the government hopes to fulfil the aspiration to make Indonesia as the Global Maritime Fulcrum.

In 2017, the Ministry of Transportation celebrate the national maritime day as a series of events from the shipping’s safety campaign. The events held in this campaign are such as social services activity and beach cleaning movement in every technical implementation unit of Directorate General of Sea Transportation. This campaign is the manifestations of maritime love. The celebration of national maritime day is seen as the right moment to encourage both employees and directors of Directorate General of Sea Transportation to optimizing Indonesian maritime sector toward Indonesia as Global Maritime Fulcrum.

The government also continuously improving the services quality and system of all their ports across the nation. With the launching of INAPORTNET, establishing the Indonesian maritime reference data, improving the maritime safety and security, protecting marine ecosystem, renewing the maritime curriculum and training facility, and also ensuring the prosperity of their sailor. It shows that the government also developing the human resources to ensure safety, security, and the prosperity of every human resource related to the nation maritime activity asides from the constructing the infrastructure.

Happy Indonesian National Maritime Day 2018. Hopefully Indonesia’s aspiration to become the Global Maritime Fulcrum can be realized soon. Jayalah Negeriku Indonesia. Merdeka!


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