Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Sakti Wahyu Trenggono, has renewed his ministry’s commitment to preserving conservation areas in Indonesia, with the goal of reaching 30 percent coverage by 2045.
“Marine Protection areas are conservation spaces; we will expand this until it reaches 30 percent of Indonesia’s total area. We hope to achieve this by 2045,” Trenggono said as quoted by Antara on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.
As of now, the conservation areas in Indonesia’s waters cover approximately 28.9 million hectares. Trenggono emphasized that these conservation areas are crucial as starting points for the sustainability of fisheries resources.
“These are essential areas for sustainability because conservation areas serve as natural spawning grounds for fish and must not be traversed by fishing vessels or commercial ships,” he explained.
Participating in the Indonesia Marine and Fisheries Business Forum 2024, the Minister invited the Ambassador of the Philippines.
He perceives the conservation areas in the Philippines as superior and wishes to learn more from the local government.
Apart from being the spawning grounds for fish, Trenggono highlighted that conservation areas absorb carbon five times higher than on land.
Previously, he urged his staff and local governments to ensure that conservation areas remain free from maritime activities, protecting the ecosystems within from potential damage.
During his presentation, the total area of conservation was stated as 28.9 million hectares, equivalent to 8.7 percent of Indonesia’s total water area, which spans 6.4 million square kilometers.
The marine conservation areas in the country encompass a potential seagrass bed of 58 thousand hectares, coral reefs covering 1.2 million hectares, mangroves spanning 211 thousand hectares, and 30 percent designated as core fish spawning zones.
Trenggono emphasized the seriousness with which he expects the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, local governments, and authorities across Indonesia to safeguard these marine conservation areas.
The protection of these areas is critical for the ecological balance and the sustainability of Indonesia’s marine biodiversity, he said.