The Jakarta Post
An international fishing tournament will be held in Banggai regency, Central Sulawesi in September as part of the government’s program to promote marine tourism.
The head of maritime tourism development at the Tourism Ministry, Indroyono Soesil, said in Jakarta on Monday that the three-day Banggai International Tuna Fishing Tournament (BITFT) 2019 would follow last year’s national tourism fishing event that was also held in Banggai.
“Each region in Indonesia has their own unique characteristics in marine tourism. We realize there’s one marine tourism potential that still hasn’t been forged upon, and that is fishing tourism.,” he said
Indroyono said the tournament was part of efforts to promote fishing tourism, which is still relatively untapped as compared to other marine tourism such as diving, cruise surfing, and yachting
“We want to increase foreign exchange from marine tourism of which its value can be seven times larger than regular tourism [leisure], which amounted to US$ 1,100 per person per visit.” he added.
Banggai is known for its endemic Banggai cardinal fish. It is also the regency with the fastest-growing economy, with 9 percent growth in 2018. In the first quarter, the regency received about 2,500 domestic tourists and more than 200 foreign tourists.
The tournament will target 250 participants, who will be grouped into 50 teams. The opening ceremony will be held on Sept. 26, while the tournament will start on Sept 27 at 8 a.m. The tournament will be held in two areas, Tangkian Port on the first day and Bonepuso village on the second day. Judging will take place each day after fishing activities.
“Around 20 people have registered from Indonesia, Malaysia and Timor Leste. More participants are expected from the Philippines, Australia, Singapore, France and Japan,” Benyamin Pongdatu, the head of the marine fisheries service, said.
There are 10 species of fish besides tuna that are allowed in the tournament. They are marlin (catch and release), kuwe, escolar, lemadang, grouper, snapper, barracuda, mackerel fish, flying fish and amberjack.
Judging will focus on the weight of catch. Total prize money amounts to Rp 500 million, including an additional prize of Rp 100 million for participants who are able to catch yellow fin tuna weighing 100 kilograms.
In preparing for the tournament, the committee has prepared 30 boats. Participants are also allowed to bring their own boats, however the standards will be set by the judges. (tkp)