In Demand by Japanese Residents, Papua is Ready to Export 100 Tons of Yellowfin Tuna to Narita

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin Tuna (photo: fishingproexclusive)

Indonesia is renowned for its vast marine wealth, which includes the Yellowfin Tuna species thriving in the waters of Cendrawasih Bay, Papua. This particular breed of tuna has garnered significant attention and preference among the Japanese populace.

In response to the substantial demand from Japanese consumers, Herry Ario Naap, the Regent of Biak Numfor Regency in Papua, has unveiled an exciting development. Approximately 100 tons of Yellowfin Tuna from Cendrawasih Bay are poised for their inaugural export to Narita, Japan, in November 2023.

This significant event will coincide with the pinnacle of the Sail Cendrawasih Bay (STC) festival, scheduled to take place from November 1st to 7th, 2023, in Biak Numfor Regency.

Herry highlighted the significance of this endeavor, indicating that even President Joko Widodo is expected to attend the departure ceremony. This occasion is particularly noteworthy because it marks the first direct export of seafood from Biak to a foreign nation, with Narita, Japan, as its destination.

What sets Yellowfin Tuna from Cendrawasih Bay apart is its appeal to the Japanese palate. Characterized by its robust meatiness and a notably high content of animal protein, this tuna variety has become a culinary favorite in Japan.

Beyond Yellowfin Tuna, Cendrawasih Bay boasts a bounty of other premium seafood offerings, including Biak Shrimp and Biak Crab, all of which have found their way to Japan’s shores.

In the past, limitations in the infrastructure of the Biak port necessitated that seafood exports pass through the ports in Jakarta before reaching their final destinations. However, with the recent development and expansion of both sea and air ports in Biak, these prized seafood products can now be exported directly to Japan, bypassing Jakarta entirely.

The establishment of a suitable port infrastructure is pivotal in enhancing the export volume of fresh tuna and other seafood commodities to Japan, which remains the primary market for these delectable marine offerings.

According to data from the Biak Numfor Regency Government, during the period from January to August 2022, tuna imports amounted to 70 tons. However, in the same timeframe this year, exports have surged to a significant 140.4 tons, translating into a commendable total profit of IDR 13.9 billion.

Herry’s forward-looking projection suggests that the export volume of tuna in his region is on a trajectory of continued growth, with expectations reaching as high as 600-800 tons annually. This forecast holds the promise of substantial dividends for the country, amounting to a noteworthy IDR 17.5 trillion.

This flourishing seafood export industry underscores the immense potential for economic development in the region. It emphasizes the significance of investing in infrastructure, as demonstrated by the allocation of IDR 1 trillion from the national budget (APBN) for the acceleration of development in Papua. This investment holds the promise of long-term prosperity for both the region and the nation as a whole.