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Fishy politics mar Jokowi's push to make Indonesia a marine power

Industry rattled by arrest of fisheries minister and predecessor's policies

A man walks past fishing boats at a port in Banda Aceh in Indonesia on Oct. 29. President Joko Widodo has talked up the need to "restore Indonesia as a maritime country."   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesia catches more fish than any country except China -- but lags in 12th place globally in exports of marine products.

So when President Joko Widodo -- popularly known as Jokowi -- first took office, it seemed natural to have a grand vision of turning Indonesia into a fisheries powerhouse. He talked up the need to "restore Indonesia as a maritime country" and issued a presidential decree calling for government ministries to cooperate in the development of the fisheries sector.

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