Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sharif C. Sutardjo stated on Wednesday (23/04) that the program, which also aims at reducing harmful fishing practices and improving the quality and standard of fish handling in local ports, will run for three years, from 2014 to 2016.

When Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte together with Ministers Sharon Dijksma and Lilianne Ploumen visited Jakarta between 19 and 22 November 2013, Minister of Economic Affairs Dijksma signed an agreement with Sharif C. Sutardjo to cooperate in this project. The consortium is led by the Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen University. Other Dutch partners include Wageningen UR LEI, IMARES, RIKILT as well as the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).

This project is important to the Indonesian government as it intends to put more emphasis on the consumption of fish in order to diversify the Indonesian diet. Increasing the availability of good quality fish and fish products is seen as a long-term and sustainable solution within the nation´s Policy on Food Security framework. The program focuses on improved practices in the capture fisheries and aquaculture value chains. Furthermore, it covers activities such as the marketing and distribution, product development, waste reduction, product quality and safety, promotion of fish consumption and focuses on entrepreneurship.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Sharif C. Sutardjo said that maritime and fisheries sectors across Asia have seen a decline due to critical fish-habitat degradation, loss of biodiversity, pollution, harmful fishing practices as well as climate change. The Indonesian annual average per capita fish consumption was 25.40 kg/capita in 2009 but this is targeted to be raised to around 40.0 kg/capita per year.

In 2011, Asia accounted for 67 percent of the world's total fish production. In Indonesia, about 85 percent of fish products are consumed domestically. Indonesia's fishery sector provides employment to about 6.5 million people.