Aquaculture Start-ups Make Waves in Indonesian Fisheries

A millennial-driven wave of digitalization has been sweeping across Indonesia’s aquaculture industry. In Yogyakarta, which is a major producer of tilapia and catfish, PT Banoo Inovasi Indonesia is helping fish farmers raise the output of the two freshwater species. Banoo produces an aquaculture system called MycroFish that uses aerators and sensors to ensure fish ponds maintain optimal levels of oxygen, acidity, and temperature. The company claims the system increases pond productivity by up to 42 percent. Banoo chief marketing officer Lakshita Aliva Zein said the company hoped to sell 100 devices this year. A total of 62,208 freshwater fish farmers were operating in the province in 2020.

“We hope we can get more fish farmers to benefit from our products moving forward,” said the fisheries science graduate from Gadjah Mada University on Feb. 10.

Tilapia and catfish are the country’s most widely produced aquaculture products after seaweed, according to 2017 statistics. The species made up 8.2 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, of the 15.52 million tons of national aquaculture production in 2017, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data show.

There are over 700 start-ups in the country’s aquaculture industry, according to aquaculture start-up group Digifish Network, which has 30 members itself. These start-ups are competing to tap into a market that the Marine Affairs and Fisheries Ministry expects will be worth US$17.47 billion by 2024. Industry incumbents include eFishery, which bagged $90 million in its series C funding round on Jan. 10, and Aruna, which took in $30 million in its series A round on Jan 26.

Aquaculture has been gaining traction around the world. Its contribution to the total production and capture of aquatic animals has risen steadily from 25.7 percent in 2000 to 46 percent in 2018, FAO data shows.

Feb 21, 2022, The Jakarta Post