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Managing Marine and Fisheries Potential to Improve the Welfare of Indigenous Papuans

by Senaman
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BIAK – The division into New Autonomous Regions (DOB) of Central Papua, Papua Mountains and South Papua provinces has shifted the source of income of “Earth Of Paradise” from gold mining to the maritime sector, especially in the fisheries and marine sectors. Biak Numfor Regency is one of the archipelagic regions in Papua Province which has a total area of 15,124 square kilometers, with details of land area of 2,602 square kilometers and an ocean of 12,522 square kilometers, consisting of the Padaido or Aimando Islands and the Numfor Islands.

Biak as an archipelago has the potential for maritime natural resources because it is located on the Pacific Ocean line to the north of Papua Province, while the Padaido Islands consist of small islands which are traditionally divided into two parts of the region, namely the Upper Padaido Islands and the Lower Padaido Islands.

The Numfor Islands consisting of five District Governments with 39 villages are areas that also have fishery potential in the form of crabs, shrimps, and tuna, these three maritime fauna are commodities of high economic value and even the three regions of the Padaido Islands, Aimando, and Numfor is a water area rich in fisheries and marine resources because it is inhabited by around 200 marine biota into 58 families and besides being rich in various types of flora, the waters of Biak Padaido or Aimando and Numfor Islands have a wealth of maritime resources with a variety of fauna, including 26 species of birds, 14 species of reptiles,  seven species of mammals, and four species of insects. Biak’s waters are on the lip of the Pacific Islands with a fishing area of 717 has marine resources such as yellowfins tuna, mackerel, to a variety of coral reefs and the types of animals that inhabit it and the type of flora that is most widely used by local communities is the coconut tree which is taken fruit to be produced into coconut oil with traditional processing.

Local residents of the Padaindo or Aimando Islands and the Numfor islands also utilize the wealth of marine products, Traditional Fishermen catch fish to meet their daily needs. The Biak water islands, which are rich in maritime natural resource potential, are designated as Marine Tourism Park Areas through the Decree of the Minister of Forestry No.91/Kpts-VI/97. The richness of Biak’s maritime natural resources is an attraction for investors to manage marine and fisheries potential to improve the welfare of Indigenous Papuans (OAP), maritime resources in Biak also act as a marine conservation area to protect the area from environmental degradation, a place for fish to live, as well as for the protection of coral reefs and mangroves.

Biak waters have become a source of blue economy in the marine and fisheries sector nationally from the data of the Directorate General of Marine Resources and Fisheries Supervision of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries states the economic potential of the waters of the Padaido Islands, Biak Numfor Regency of the 10 highest National marine protected areas economic value reaches Rp 68.9 trillion and the potential of marine and fisheries resources in Biak Numfor Regency is a promising non-tax state revenue barn, Biak Regent Herry Ario Naap said that fishery products, especially yellowfins tuna, reach 1.1 million tons per year with an estimated potential income of Rp 17 trillion per year, the abundant economic potential of marine and fisheries not only supports non-tax state revenue, but is a source of strength in the future in maintaining Indonesia’s maritime sovereignty in the Pacific region.

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