Transportation Minister Budi Karya said his ministry plans to open a shipment line from Maluku to Darwin in an attempt to boost the fisheries industry in the region.
“There are many fish that physically cannot stay fresh too long,” said Budi in a statement on Sunday, adding that currently ships had to pass through Surabaya on their way to the Australia city.
Budi said he would take the plan to a meeting with President Jokowi.
He said the sea around Maluku province produced large amounts of fish, but that the fish could not be immediately exported abroad because of a lack of sea transportation.
He expressed hope that more businesspeople would be interested in utilizing maritime resources in the area so that the government could facilitate direct export to Australia.
“If it is possible, I will take the issue to a limited Cabinet meeting. We hope there are places in the southern part of Maluku province that can directly export fish to Darwin,” he said, adding that participation of private companies to develop Tual seaport would accelerate the expansion of the port.