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Setting The Right Navigation to Blue Economy

Standing on the shores of Indonesia, where the world’s largest archipelago stretches across thousands of potentials, each with its unique and charming maritime industries. Now, picture the immense potential that lies beneath the waters – a potential that is not just promising, but it’s like a hidden treasure chest of a sustainable growing Blue Economy waiting to be unlocked, and the possibilities are as vast as the open ocean itself.

Indonesia’s maritime industry has the potential to grow and develop. These industries are also included in the category of the blue economy concept, which utilizes marine resources and is environmentally sound for economic growth, welfare, and developing community livelihoods while maintaining marine ecosystems. Some of these businesses include fisheries, aquaculture, renewable energy, tourism, water transportation, waste management, and climate change mitigation. If some of these sectors are managed with a sustainable concept, then each sector will certainly be able to help realize economic growth.

The potential for this blue economy is even seen in Indonesia, which managed to rank second as the largest fish-producing country in the world; even 10 percent of the world’s fishery commodities are exported by Indonesia. Thus, creating innovation or small changes will generate economic value in this sector. This is what makes many startups in the marine sector emerge and begin to develop.

Not only in Indonesia, the emergence of startups that apply the concept of blue economy has also begun to grow in Asia. As in the ASEAN Blue Economy 2023 forum, the application of the blue economy is considered important and is one of the forms of cooperation within ASEAN. This concept even provides new economic opportunities that can contribute positively to the tourism and creative economy sectors, which can be supported by the innovations brought by startups.

For example, the utilization of technology used by startups to support fishermen in water management and fish health, pond design, shipping and logistics activities, aquaculture, and many more innovations that can be applied to the development of this business sector. Something that has been seen as expensive long before now is just one grasp away.

There are several Indonesian startups for example that strive for the growth of the business sector towards the blue economy, such as Aruna a, a fisheries startup that contributes greatly to the lives of traditional fishermen in Indonesia. This startup helps channel fishery products from Indonesian fishermen to the domestic market and helps fishermen to export their fish products. This has a huge impact on the welfare of fishermen and educates them to continue to develop globally. 

Then, there is JALA Tech, a startup that helps shrimp farmers by creating technology to monitor water quality, predict shrimp growth, and estimate farming yields. This startup seeks to develop technology that aims to improve the quality of the harvest of local shrimp farmers. JALA Tech recently expanded its business to East Asia’s market by joining a Kick-Off Pilot Program in Vietnam – bringing their innovation to a bigger cause. JALA Tech’s focus on empowering fishermen from the local level to create a sustainable business ecosystem is also what KUMPUL.ID supports through innovative programs that are currently running with various partners.

Overseas, we have KOAI, a marine pollution control equipment manufacturer that produces and develops equipment for import-dependent oil localization. This startup strives to maintain the marine ecosystem so that it is not polluted with various environmental threats and problems. Moreover, KOAI startups also have an impact on maintaining the health and resilience of marine ecosystems. KOAI was chosen as one of the startups to join the Global Technology Commercialization program by the Korea Social Investment Foundation (한국사회투자), in partnership with KUMPUL.ID.

Overall, the maritime industry has great potential to grow, but the lack of access to economic equality for fishermen, as well as issues of environmental problems and marine ecosystems, are also major obstacles. Therefore, the importance of collaboration between the government and startups in implementing the blue economy program in the marine and fisheries sector, as well as an effort to boost economic life, prosper fishermen, and protect marine ecosystems from the threat of environmental problems.

Therefore, collaboration from many sides of the industries is needed to create greater opportunities for all Indonesian entrepreneurs in particular, to set the right navigation towards the blue economy and have a positive impact on the sustainability and welfare of the environment, fishermen, and coastal communities.

What do you think should be the next step to nurture entrepreneurs for the future of an impactful Blue Economy? Share your thoughts!