Digitizing Indonesia’s Fisheries Sector Towards Industry Era 4.0

by / Wednesday, 02 January 2019 / Published in News
scheme epcs business process for fisheries

Jakarta – The Global Maritime Axis seems to be a realistic dream for  Indonesia since Joko Widodo became a president of Republic of Indonesia. Mainstream opinion believes that the development of the maritime sector is the key to improving Indonesia’s economy, because a lot of potential in our waters is still untapped. In line with that, the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti, set the fisheries sector target to contribute 7 percent of gross domestic product in 2015-2019.

This figure is very realistic considering that Indonesia is an archipelagic country that has very potential marine and fisheries resources. The long coastline of Indonesia which reaches 95,181 km is the second longest coastline in the world. While two-thirds of the NKRI area is an ocean with an area of ​​5.8 million km2 consisting of 3.1 million km2 of territorial waters and 2.7 million km2 of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Under the leadership of Susi Pudjiastuti, the Indonesian fisheries sector began to apply advanced technology. In 2016 Indonesia collaborated with Google through the use of a digital ship monitoring system in the form of the Global Fishing Watch platform. This cooperation requires Indonesia to share operational data on fishing vessels in the fisheries management area, so the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessel who entering Indonesian territory can be detected.

Furthermore, in 2017 Indonesia has also cooperated in developing a maritime satellite to monitor illegal fishermen with two foreign institutions, namely the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the International Maritime Satellite (Inmarsat) through its partnership with the British Space Agency.

Problems in the Fisheries Industry in Indonesia

The application of digital technology to the fisheries sector has shown a positive trend for Indonesia. In collaboration with international institutions, Indonesia has succeeded in increasing the productivity of capture fisheries from 6.54 million tons in 2016 to 9.45 million tons in 2018 (data as of October 2018).

However, there are still many cases related to the implementation of policies that are considered too tight for fishermen and fisheries sector companies. One of them is the prohibition on transshipment as outlined in Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (KKP) Regulation No. 57/2014.

Many parties judge this rule as a double-edged sword. On one side, the regulation has a positive contribution against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. It has long been detected by the KKP that a container vessel containing fish from fishing vessels was then taken out of the country. After returning, the Fishing Vessel only reported to the base port that the catch was low, even though the cargo of fish had been transferred to the sea (transshipment) and taken out of the country. Transshipment activities have been a mode of theft by moving cargo in the middle of the sea, then transporting it abroad

On the other side, the regulation is unproductive. Transshipment, it means loading and unloading fish in the offshore, has become a long-standing business routine. Another reason is that the condition of the ship is currently designed to capture not to accommodate.

Later the CTF loosened the rules regarding transshipment in accordance with Regulation of the Director General of Capture Fisheries number 1 of 2016 concerning Fishing in a single unit of operation. This regulation requires the cooperation of each carrier to partner with 2 to 5 fishing vessels. The fish catch is loaded into the Container Ship to be taken to the Utilities Processing Fish at the base port.

But the concession seems to have been complained by the fishermen. They proposed that the number of collecting vessels should be more than the catch vessels, so they could continue to work without return to the base-port before.

Indonesian Fisheries in Industry 4.0

The cases as mentioned above should be overcome if all parties understand the importance of the application of digital technology. It is time for Indonesia’s fisheries sector policies to follow the principles of Industry 4.0, for example, emphasizing transparency, time and cost efficiency, and increasing the added value of the national fisheries industry.

Related to these cases, there are two important things should be considered. First, provide education to fishing fishermen as partners of fisheries companies about how to use technology to increase the quantity and quality of their products. Second, support the improvement of the performance of national fisheries companies through the use of android-based digital technology.

To encourage Industry 4.0 on the fisheries sector, PT. eKomoditi Solutions Indonesia has launched the Electronic Productions Control System for Fisheries (ePCS Fisheries Application) to realize the digitalization of the national fishing industry. Through this ePCS Fisheries platform, the transshipment process can be carried out transparently and can be monitored by interested parties in real-time including the handover time (loading / unloading), location coordinates, digital production / catch of fish via smartphone-based devices android.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PT. eKomoditi Solutions Indonesia, Ferron Haryanto, explained Industry 4.0 era with regard to four main things, namely (1) Integration of digital and physicl systems, (2) internet of things (IoT), (3) big data analytics, and (4) application of artificial intelligence based on robotics technology, “The fisheries industry sector in Indonesia must follow a transparent global trend by implementing digital technology,” Ferron said.

The implementation of Industry 4.0 was intended to turn the manual industry into a smart industry by integrating processes horizontally and vertically.

“Horizontal integration means digitizing complete values ​​and supply chains with interconnected information systems, as well as exchanging data in centerstage. While vertical integration focuses on information technology system integration (IT) at various levels of hierarchical production, from the field to the level of corporate planning,” said Ferron.

Ferron added that the application of digital technology in the national fisheries industry would significantly increase the competitiveness of Indonesian fisheries at the global level. If these steps are implemented seriously and consistently, it is not impossible that the government’s aspiration to make Indonesia as the Global Maritime Axis can be realized soon.