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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Blue Growth tops talks with Indonesia’s minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries

“It is crucial to manage the ocean’s natural resources in a sustainable way,” minister Sutardjo says

FAO Director-General and Indonesia's Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries stand beside a fish sculpture donated by Indonesia to the organization.

18 September 2014, Rome - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met Indonesia’s Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Sharif Cicip Sutardjo, at FAO headquarters in Rome.

The Minister welcomed the fact that “the concept of Blue Growth has rapidly expanded and is helping to develop more sustainable fisheries in the world.”

Indonesia was a pioneer country in promoting the Blue Growth approach, which advocates for major changes in how the planet's marine resources are managed and used, in order to safeguard global food security and ensure the wellbeing of coastal and island countries.

Blue Growth was one of the key topics of the Third International UN Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), held in in Apia, Samoa (1-4 September).

Recognition of Blue Growth’s importance is about to reach a new level with its inclusion in the debates of the upcoming 69th session of the UN General Assembly.

“With FAO’s support we will be able to develop a sustainable aquaculture and marine system,” Minister Sutardjo said. “It is crucial to manage the ocean’s natural resources in a sustainable and efficient way,” he added.

The fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU)

Talks between Graziano da Silva and Sutardjo also focused on the challenges faced by the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, with special attention to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU).

The Minister highlighted how the Fishing Vessels Monitoring System (VSM) developed by FAO enables Indonesia to “better understand and monitor illegal and unreported fisheries from the Philippines to Australia.” He also expressed hope that VSM “will also help to reduce illegal practices and improve the situation in our area.”

The VSM is a surveillance programme for fisheries, in which equipment installed on fishing vessels provides information about the vessel’s position and activity, offering broad potential for greater transparency in fisheries.

The FAO Director-General welcomed the Sutardjo’s offer "to share Indonesia’s capacity for satellite maritime surveillance with other countries". This was a request from made by many countries at the SIDS meeting, Graziano da Silva said pointed out.

Fish, key for good nutrition

In reference to the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) scheduled to take place from 19 to 21 November at FAO's headquarters in Rome, Minister Sutardjo noted how “fish is key for good nutrition and we, in Indonesia, have a 38 kg/per capita consumption rate, which is very high.”

Minister Sutardjo also stressed the importance of strengthening fish processing and marketing in the country to complete the value chain.

During the meeting, the FAO Director General and the Minister discussed the latest hunger figures offered by the State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) 2014 report, which was launched on September 16th.