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Potential for Eel Exports Promising, Ministry encourages farmers to develop eel cultivation

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JAKARTA, CILACAP.INFO – The Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has encouraged farmers and businessmen in sector to develop eel farming and explore its potential in export market.

“We need an agreement between central government, local governments, businessmen, farmers, researchers, academicians and environmental observers to establish a commitment develop accountable and sustainable eel farming,” ministry Director General of Aquaculture Slamet Soebjakto said in a statement here on Sunday.

The ministry would continue to encourage development of eel farming but it would need sustainable management to preserve eel habitat, since seeds were captured in wild to replenish stock on farms.

The government has issued a Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Regulation no. 19/2012 on ban to export juvenile eel weight less than 150 grams.

“The use of environment-friendly net and young eel for stock at required size would become one factor behind success of an eel farm,” he said.

Eel spent most of its life in fresh water, from phase of glass eel, elver to mature eel. They will return to sea to breed and after that they will die.

Soebjakto said, a species of eel Anguilla bicolor bicolor can be found in waters off Mentawai trench in Sumatra, while Anguilla marmorata can be found in western part of North Pacific.

The species can also be found in Pelabuhan Ratu and Cilacap in southern coast of Java along year and will reach its peak in December to February. Most of species are Anguilla bicolor bicolor and few are Anguilla marmorata.

Eel production in Indonesia in 2019 has reached 515.18 tons, increased 59 percent compared to production in previous year.

Head of agribusiness firm Aquaculture JAPFA Group Ardi Budiono said company has held partnership with some local businessmen to grow eel from stage of glass eel to elver also known as shirasu process.

The process will take some 4-5 months for young eel to reach weight of 2-3 gram.

“We will buy juvenile to grow them further until they reach ideal size of 250 grams for harvesting. Then we will send them to processing factory to make ready-to-eat product,” Ardi said.

JAPFA Group produced more than 100 tons of eel per year on average or some 380 tons during past three years.

Eel export in 2019 has recorded at Rp437 billion. In January to June 2020, export has reached Rp216 billion.

The major producers of eel are European countries, Scandinavian countries, China, Australia and Morocco, with largest single producer being Japan.

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