Mataram, W Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) – The West Nusa Tenggara provincial administration has set up three clusters for the development of the fishing industry based on the potential of each area. The three development clusters were on Lombok and Sumbawa Islands, Head of West Nusa Tenggara’s Marine and Fisheries Office Lalu Hamdi said here, Friday.

The three clusters are Lombok minapolitan with an offshore fishing industry centered in Teluk Awang; Central Lombok District; Sumbawa minapolitan with sustainable fishing in Teluk Saleh, and Bima minapolitan which has salt industry potential.

“This grouping is based on local potential and a spatial approach,” Hamdi noted and added that minapolitan is a management concept that covers the upstream to downstream sectors with Lombok Minapolitan in Teluk Awang being driven by offshore fishing.

“Currently there are 40 fishing boats owned by local fishermen and 17 others with a capacity of 100 gross tons (GT) out of 100 units which are expected to come from outside the area,” Hamdi explained.

The office has intensified promotions while introducing the three clusters in the hope that there would be more large-capacity fishing boats operating in the areas, according to him.

Currently, there is a need for large-capacity fishing boats as there are at least 500 tons of skipjack tuna that have been supplied for domestic trade from the province.

The next action by the provincial administration, along with the relevant stakeholders, is to set up Awang Bay with supporting facilities and infrastructure such as clean water sources, ice factories, cold storage and a fuel station. In the future, Teluk Awang is expected to become an industrial and shipping/export center of fish in Lombok.

The provincial administration also continues to improve communication and establish partnerships with players to build businesses in Teluk Awang, according to Hamdi.

Hamdi was hopeful that in the future West Nusa Tenggara’s export products would come from the province in terms of the product originality.

The key to realizing a prosperous and independent society in the province was to develop the processed-products industry, especially the ones run by locals, including the home industry of fisheries products, West Nusa Tenggara Governor Zulkieflimansyah revealed earlier.

“We will continue to strengthen policies to develop the marine and fisheries sectors to improve the welfare of local fishermen,” the governor said when talking to fishermen in Telong Elong in East Lombok District some time back.

The policies have also been added to the West Nusa Tenggara’s marine and fisheries development roadmap.

The development of the processing industry in the marine and fisheries sectors is one of the priorities of the province’s flagship program named NTB Gemilang.

The province has considerable potential and production of marine and fisheries resources. Freshwater and sea fisheries, seaweed and pearls are being cultivated. The production of these commodities has continued to increase over the years.

EDITED BY INE