Norad invited representatives from embassies, Norwegian private sector (Ewos, Pharmaq, Geno Mar among others) and Asian and Norwegian fisheries advisors to discuss a growing sector in Asia. Minister Counselor Marianne Damhaug, from the Embassy in Jakarta, attended the meeting.
Indonesia has a large potential in the aquaculture sector. Commercial fisheries have existed for some time, but subsistence or artisanal fishing still dominates both in marine and inland water. About 90% of the Indonesia fishing fleet is traditional in nature. Aquaculture is emerging as an important livelihood for many costal dwellers and a production alternative under depletion condition of wild fish resources. Norway has a close cooperation with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marin Affairs in Indonesia and is considering support to Phase 2 of a Capacity building project between Indonesia and Norway within aquaculture and fisheries. The Embassy and the Seafood Council in Singapore are promoting fresh Salmon from Norway, and the Seafood Council has for the first time set aside a specific budget to cooperation with Indonesia in 2013.
The aquaculture sector has long historic traditions in Asia and provides for food and income for a large number of people and communities, and has a potential to grow even further. However, aquaculture can also have negative effects on the environment if not properly regulated. Poor culture management increases risk of disease outbreaks and consequently less economic return. The development of aquaculture in Norway in many ways represents a success story. Norway has expertise which can be of use for developing countries, as experiences from Vietnam and Thailand already have demonstrated.