In keeping with this commitment, the country has organized the World Ocean Business Forum (WOBF), maritime affairs and fisheries ministrys Director General of Fisheries Product Processing and Marketing, Saut P. Hutagalung, stated here on Wednesday while opening the forum.

"It is expected that during the forum businessmen will strike business deals on marine resource management and fishery products that can help to improve the peoples welfare," he noted.

During the forum, the participants will share information on business opportunities in the fields of marine and fisheries, which are based on the sustainable management of coral reef ecosystems.

"The forum will also be used as a platform by businessmen engaged in seaweed trading to discuss the preparations for an ASEANs Senior Official Meeting (SOM) on cooperation in seaweed development in ASEAN, which will be held in Thailand, in June 2014," he added.

The WOBF is being attended by at least 250 participants from 25 countries. They represent governments, regional and international organizations, NGOs, business sector, as well as scientific institutions, and academicians.

The foreign participants are from Argentine, the United States, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, China, Finland, Gambia, Britain, Iraq, Germany, South Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, France, the Philippines, the Seychelles, Thailand, Uganda, and Vietnam.

"The local participants include fishery and seaweed businessmen, tour agents and tour operators, researchers, academicians, NGO activists, and central and local officials of the maritime and fisheries offices," Hutaglung affirmed.

The WOBF is held as part of the World Coral Reef Conference (WCRC) and organized here between May 14 and 17, 2014.

Hutagalung noted that the businessmen were invited to invest in managing and exploiting marine resources and fisheries by applying sustainable preservation principles to the ecosystem and the natural resources, such as coral reefs, seagrass, and mangroves.