Bali Governor Wayan Koster called for the development of maritime-based economy, on account of the high potential, so as to reduce the province’s dependence on tourism.
“It is time for us to change, from conventional agriculture to maritime, because farming plots will always reduce and be exploited,” the governor noted on the sidelines of the National Tuna Conference and International Tuna Business Forum in Badung, Bali, on Wednesday.
He affirmed that Bali had been developing facilities, residences, hotels, and restaurants, at an extensive pace that had led to reduction in land.
However, Bali has vast maritime potential that can be harnessed under the efforts to improve the region’s economy.
“What is good about maritime is that no need to hack (the soil), you only need to take. In the soil, you (sow), fertilize, and grow it, but it does not guarantee harvest because it depends on the climate,” he remarked.
Despite the huge maritime potential, the governor still reminded people to care for the seas through the management concept known as “Segara Kerthi” in Balinese wisdom.
The local wisdom value reminds of the importance of honoring the seas as a source of mankind’s livelihood, he emphasized.
Bali, located strategically by the Indian Ocean, is home to a wide selection of fish species, particularly tunas, he pointed out.
In 2021, Bali’s tuna production was recorded at almost 52 thousand tons, he pointed out.
The province’s downstreaming sector has 75 high- and mid-tier fish processing units that also export the products, he remarked.
He highlighted that 26-27 thousand tons of fish, worth US$137 million, had been exported in 2021 and 2022.
Koster stated that they continue to highlight the agriculture sector as part of the province’s economic transformation.
For some decades, tourism has played a major role in Bali’s economy, contributing up to 54 percent to the Regional Gross Domestic Product, he noted.
Tourism also improved Bali’s economy during the COVID-19 period, which at that time declined to record minus 9.31 percent growth, he concluded.