Partnering With OceanX to Map Marine Potential

Speaking at a press conference in Nusa Dua on Wednesday (15/5/24,) Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said that the government is teaming up with OceanX, a global non-profit organization, to begin mapping marine potential through research expeditions in several regions in the country, according to reporting from Antara News.

Luhut said that the “program lasts for three months and is expected to continue.”

The ministry and the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) started the exploration mission on May 8, 2024, from Sambu Island, Riau. The expedition with OceanXplorer continued to other regions by stopping at Banda Aceh, Teluk Bayur in Padang, Tanjung Priok Jakarta, Benoa Denpasar Bali, Labuan Bajo NTT, and ending in Bitung, North Sulawesi, scheduled for August 25, 2024.

According to Luhut, the focus of the research expedition was marine biodiversity, carbon potential, fish stocks, assessment, and earthquake mapping, namely investigating megathrust zones to improve earthquake and tsunami models, adding that he expects this research to support social welfare by discovering potential product innovations and solutions in various fields, including medicine or biotechnology, say Antara News.

“Most importantly, this expedition is an opportunity to study the potential for earthquakes and tsunamis,” he said.

Head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, said that since 2022, his side has supported maritime expeditions with hundreds of sailing days each year using its research vessels and partnering with foreign vessels, such as the OceanXplorer.

The program is open to all scientists selected based on open participation requests and competitive collaboration. The Indonesian research team comprises representatives from BRIN, universities, and Indonesian conservation organizations, according to Antara News.

Meanwhile, Co-CEO and Chief Science Officer of OceanX, Vincent Pieribone, virtually explained that comprehensive marine data can strengthen decision-making for sustainable fisheries management, effective conservation strategies, and natural disaster mitigation efforts.

Indonesian waters play an important role in the economy, geopolitics, culture, and natural environment of the country, he said.

This exploration is expected to map out marine biodiversity, especially in the deep sea, of which only 19 percent had been mapped out by the government. Indonesia’s coastline is around 108,000 kilometers, and more than 70 percent of its area is water, say Antara News.

Source: Antara News

Stock photo by Jeremy Bishop on Pexels

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