Last Update: October 2017

Indonesia is one of the main producing countries for snapper and grouper in the global seafood market. Snapper and grouper are highly sought-after species that are caught and sold for consumption on the local and international markets. Snapper is part of the family Lutjanidae, with nine genera. Three species of snapper, Malabar blood snapper (Lutjanus malabaricus), crimson or scarlet snapper (L. erythropterus), and goldband snapper (Pristipomoides multidens), are the most economically important fish for export from Indonesia. 

Grouper is part of the family Serranidae. The three main commercially caught grouper species are duskytail grouper (Epinephelus bleekeri), greasy grouper (Epinephelus tauvina), and dot-dash grouper (Epinephelus poecilonotus). These three grouper species are also important fish for export.

The fisheries are targeted by artisanal and industrial vessels, and the fishing grounds spread over the Indonesian archipelago, covering shallow reefs to deep sea waters. The catches of snappers and groupers are part of multifishery and multigear fishing operations. The types of fishing gear currently being used are bottom longline, handline, bottom gillnet, bottom trawls, fishnet, and traps. The Indonesia Snapper and Grouper Supply Chain Roundtable provides a platform for seafood suppliers in destination markets to discuss matters of common interest and identify fisheries where improvements are required. The roundtable acts to catalyze, monitor progress, and support the successful implementation of fishery improvement projects (FIPs) and discuss future partnership and cooperation opportunities. 

Supply Chain Roundtable Participants:

Beaver Street Fisheries
Channel Seafoods International
Fishin’ Co
Hilo Fish
Netuno USA
North Atlantic
Sea Delight
SouthFresh Farms


PT. CSFI (Cilacap Samudera Fishing Industry)

Fisheries and/or FIPs Covered: 

The roundtable focuses on both industrial and small-scale snapper/grouper fisheries in Indonesia. 

The following FIPs are supported and monitored: 

Bottom Longline Snapper and Grouper (Aru, Arafura, and Timor Seas) FIP, PT. Intan Seafood/ILUFA
Small-scale Snapper and Grouper in Central Sulawesi FIP, CV Indotropic/WWF (currently inactive)
Small-scale Snapper Grouper in Makassar Strait FIP, industry group

For more details on the sustainability status of the fisheries, progress of the FIPs, and improvement recommendations, please follow this link 

Improvement Needs: Snapper and grouper fisheries in Indonesia are facing some common major challenges, including:

  • Lack of specific stock status data for snapper and grouper species in Indonesian territorial waters. Snappers and groupers are included in the “demersal fishes” group in the public stock status overview, and not reported as individual species groups. 
  • Not all the artisanal vessels involved in snapper and grouper fisheries have been registered. A great deal of snapper and grouper is purchased directly from small boats (< 10 GT). These boats need to be registered properly to enable the supply chain to get the “catch certificate” documents required for export to some markets, especially the European market.
  • Lack of catch data reporting from artisanal vessels. Most of snappers and groupers coming from the artisanal fishery are not landed in the Fish Auction Hall (TPI), therefore they are not recorded under the official data collection system. 
  • Data from logbook still cannot be used by the government to contribute to stock evaluations due to lack of compliance and accuracy in submission. Industrial snapper and grouper vessels are required by law to fill out logbooks documenting their catch data and submit these logbooks to the government.  However, many vessels are not submitting logbooks, and the accuracy of data in some that are submitted is questionable.
  • Lack of species-specific identification in landings data. The species of snapper and grouper are highly diverse and misidentification is very likely. Around 14 species of snapper are harvested (most commonly Lutjanus malabaricusL. sebaeL. erythropterus, and Pristipomoides multidens), but most processors only categorize snappers into two groups: red snappers/kakap merah (Lutjanus spp.) and jobfishes/kurisi bali (Pristipomoides spp.). Over 30 species of grouper are harvested (most commonly Epinephelus malabaricus and Plectropomus leopardus), but most processors report all groupers in the general category of grouper/kerapu.
  • Government observers are not yet available for placement on snapper and grouper vessels. The Indonesian government has stated its intention to develop an observer program to collect catch and discard data on industrial vessels, and at least one FIP has made inclusion of observers part of their workplan, but the government observer program has not yet been launched.
  • The market is demanding a high proportion of “golden size” fillets weighing 200 to 300 grams. Fillets of this size are processed from the immature, juvenile fish weighing 800 to 1,500 grams. Scientific data shows that the average length at maturity is about 54.8 cm, which yields about a 1,500-gram fish. 

Action Recommendations: 

  • Ask the Indonesia Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) to:
    • Publicly release any available snapper- and grouper-specific stock status information
    • Improve the catch data collection systems for both artisanal and industrial fisheries such that species-specific harvest volumes are reported for both sectors
    • Provide a public update on the plans to implement an observer program on industrial snapper and grouper fishing vessels.
  • Request the supply chain to provide documentation that:
    • Both industrial and artisanal vessels that are supplying snapper/grouper to them are properly registered
    • Industrial vessels are submitting logbooks to the MMAF.
  • Evaluate size classes in your sourcing portfolio and determine whether too much emphasis is being placed on immature fish.
  • Encourage additional participation in existing FIPs.
  • Catalyze FIPs in the following priority fisheries:
    • Artisanal snapper and grouper fishery in North Java (gears include hook and line, handlines, and bottom longlines)
    • Artisanal snapper and grouper fishery in Aru Islands (gear includes traps and gillnets).

Find the full list of fisheries in need of improvements overseen by the roundtable here.  

Current Objectives for 2017: 

  1. Catalyze at least one new FIP or expand the scale/scope of an existing project.
  2. Establish a dialogue with MMAF regarding stock status information, catch data collection, and the observer program.
  3. Pilot a verification system to ensure proper vessel registration and logbook submission within SR participant supply chains.
  4. Determine whether further steps are needed to reduce harvest of juvenile fish based on market demands.
  5. Monitor progress and support the implementation of FIPs and ensure all FIPs receive A–C progress ratings on FishSource

Progress Update: 


In January, new FIP established: Small-Scale Snapper Grouper in Makassar Strait FIP. 

In March, SFP hosted an Indonesia Snapper and Grouper SR meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, with the purposes of 1) introducing buyers to the Supplier Roundtables on Indonesia Snapper and Grouper; 2) getting an update from the Indonesian companies that are implementing FIPs; and 3) gathering support from buyers to help catalyze and move FIPs forward via the Supplier Roundtables. At least 50 people attended the meeting, including retailers, 1st-tier suppliers (about 18 companies), and Indonesian processors/exporters (at least 10 companies). Some key outcomes of the meeting: 1) Agreement on the importance of continuing to encourage other companies that are not involved in the FIP yet to participate and join the snapper and grouper FIP; 2) SFP will continue to facilitate the Indonesia Snapper Grouper Supply Chain Roundtable. The companies interested to participate in the SR will be contacted and listed on the SR landing page. 

In the SR meeting, the Director General of Fisheries Products Processing and Marketing, MMAF, stated that the Indonesian government is committed to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and to support sustainability of marine and fisheries resources through: a) developing national initiatives towards sustainability; b) facilitating private companies to fulfill eco-labeling and related market requirements; c) strengthening regional cooperation to support economic security and sustainable use of fisheries resources; d) building a platform linking to regional, national, and global ocean campaigns or food security and sustainable growth. 

FIP participants presented challenges such as a) industry confusion due to multiple organizations providing large amounts of information, often contradictory; b) limited participants in the FIP; c) consumers’ focus on price; and d) sustainability versus quality. 

A list of suggested actions for SR participants included: a) continue to show leadership on sustainability at all levels; b) show active participation towards FIP implementation; c) source/buy responsibly – resist pressure; and d) educate buyers and customers. 

In June, five seafood companies based in Makassar, South Sulawesi, who are interested in developing a small-scale snapper/grouper FIP held a meeting to further discuss the FIP workplan and implementation. One of the reasons for these companies to develop FIP was a request from their buyers. They plan to invite their respective buyers to attend the 2016 SR meeting in Boston and ask them to participate in the SR. The FIP public report was launched on the website provided by LINI

In August, North Atlantic (SR participant/FIP supporter) assisted the Aru, Arafura, and Timor Seas FIP leader in conducting a pilot test for the use of e-logbooks to improve catch data recording. Two fishing vessels that are part of the snapper and grouper Aru, Arafura, and Timor Seas FIP participated in an e-logbook trial starting in August. E-logbook data was filled in during each fishing operation. 

Unfortunately, the observers program was postponed due to a government policy review.  


In March, the SR meeting was held in Boston (During Seafood Expo for North America), with twelve companies (1st-tier suppliers) participating. Discussions explored the roles and responsibilities of SR participants, the status of the fisheries and 2016 SR workplan were reviewed, and the members discussed and agreed actions for SR participants. See meeting report and supporting documentation.

SR participants requested that their suppliers develop a FIP for small-scale snapper and grouper fisheries in the Java Sea. SFP provided producers with requested guidance on FIP initiation (e.g., assistance in finalizing a white paper). 

In July, two new participants joined the SR; they have reached out to their Indonesian suppliers to participate in existing FIPs or in initiating new improvement projects. 

SR participants attended a regional MSC meeting to discuss how FIPs can be recognized for working toward MSC certification. 

On 21 December, the SR organized a producers meeting in Makassar, where FIP implementers and interested producers were educated on snapper/grouper sustainability status based on data collection and analysis gathered so far. Meeting participants included representatives of the provincial government who support FIP implementers’ collection of data on small-scale snapper/grouper fisheries.

SR participants mobilized their suppliers and producers to attend the meeting and join existing FIPs, and at least two other companies are interested in joining the existing FIP in Makassar. SFP will help FIP participants to develop a workplan and budget for 2017, as well as facilitate internal discussion about the process for accepting new FIP members. Industry attendees also showed interest in initiating a new FIP for the small-scale snapper/grouper fishery in the Java Sea.

By the end of the year, the government-sponsored observer program was still not fully launched. Observers that have been hired have not yet received adequate training to be able to perform the needed tasks, therefore observers are not yet available for snapper and grouper vessels. 


January – March

Responding to SR participant requests, the Bottom Longline Snapper Grouper in Arafura, Aru and Timor Seas FIP submitted logbook data (for the years 2015 and 2016) to the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs (MMAF). The data came from two fishing companies involved in the FIP, CV Jala Karya Mandiri and CV Karya Samudera. The data divides the snappers into three species (Lutjanus malabaricus (Malabar), Lutjanus erypthropterus (crimson), and Pristipomoides multidens (goldband)) and groupers into three species (Epinephelus bleekeri (dusky tail grouper), dot-dash grouper (Epinephelus poecilonotus), and greasy grouper (Epinephelus tauvina)).

SFP facilitated an Indonesian Fisheries Roundtable meeting on 20 March during Seafood Expo of North America in Boston. The meeting provided a venue for the buyers, suppliers, and producers of Indonesian fisheries products and the Indonesian government (MMAF) to discuss the progress and challenges in implementing fishery improvement projects (FIPs) on small-scale fisheries and the challenges for small-scale fisheries to comply with the regulations and meet the market demand for sustainability and traceability. An additional objective was to gather support from buyers on improvement initiatives, especially in small-scale fisheries. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Indonesian government (Director General of Product Competitiveness, MMAF), Indonesian companies, US buyers, NGOs, and donors. Some key outcomes of the discussion were: a) buyer support (through both targeted purchasing of FIP products and additional financial contributions) is necessary to enable FIPs to succeed; b) small-scale fisheries are facing such a complex array of management, environmental, and social issues that FIPs may not just focus on improving fisheries to meet sustainability standards, but must also work on capacity building for the fishers, including handling, post harvesting, safety at sea, community organizing, etc.; c) a strong market demand for small ("golden size") snappers/groupers is creating incentives for fishers to disproportionately target harvest efforts on juvenile fish.  

In February, in response to SR participants’ support for development of a FIP for small-scale snapper and grouper fisheries in the Java Sea, SFP facilitated a meeting with the companies interested to developing such a FIP. Seven processing plants attended the meeting (PT Alam Jaya, PT Kelola Mina Laut, PT Kemilau Bintang Timur, PT Inti Lautan Fajar Abadi, PT Bahari Biru Nusantara, PT Bali Seafood International, and PT Tridaya Jaya Manunggal). Participants were briefed on the sustainability issues identified in the FIP white paper and then discussed the improvement needs to be addressed The discussion included a review of current/existing FIPs in the region and lessons learned. The attending companies requested technical assistance from SFP in developing the FIP workplan and estimated budget as well as facilitating the meeting with the local fisheries authority in Brondong Harbor, where the snapper vessels land their catch.

SR participant North Atlantic Inc. (NAI) is developing a demersal fisheries FIP in Sumbawa. PT Bali Seafood International (BSI), a subsidiary of NAI, is working with the local, provincial, and federal governments to chart out an exclusive fishing zone for the artisanal fleet.

April – June

SFP provided technical support to PT. CSFI (Cilacap Samudera Fishing Industry) – a subsidiary company of PT. AKFI mainly engaging in the same business model as PT. AKFI, but mostly focusing on the domestic market – to develop a FIP for snapper/grouper in the Aru Islands. PT. CSFI operates 30 vessels (fishing vessels, reefer vessels, and collecting vessels) with which it maintains a cooperative arrangement, including profit sharing. Ten of the vessels use traps, 12 vessels use gillnets, 2 use squid jigging, and remaining 6 are collecting boats. Species caught include snappers (mainly Malabar among Lutjanidae), groupers (Epinephelus spp.), green snapper/emperor (Lethrinus nebulosus), and sweetlips (Plectorhinchus spp.).

In April, SFP met with the MSC about the “Fish for Good” project, a Dutch Lottery-funded project for supporting Indonesian fisheries through improving Indonesian data collection to ensure stronger fisheries management and to enhance fishing community economies in Indonesia. This project is of special interest to the SR as it may provide an opportunity for funding new snapper and grouper FIPs.

In May, SFP staff provided a data collection training to enumerators of SuperIndo supplier PT. CSFI, preparing the initiation of a FIP in the multispecies fishery in the Aru Islands.

As requested by the SR, SFP organized and joined a FIP meeting of the Small-scale Makassar Strait Snapper Grouper FIP to introduce the FIP model, work, and progress of the project to other industry members. Two new companies, Sukses Hasil Alam NusaIndo and Wahyu Pradana Binamulia, agreed to join the FIP and will begin implementing activities in July 2017, thus broadening the scale of the project.

The first Indonesia-based retail supplier, PT. CSFI, has joined the SR as a participant. PT. CSFI is supplying SuperIndo and started to initiate a FIP based on its buyer’s request.

July – September

Within the scope of launching a FIP in the artisanal snapper and grouper fishery in North Java, SFP facilitated a meeting of interested processors with the local landing port authorities (Brondong) for processors and vessel or boat owners to receive clarity on the documentation needs, process, and costs for vessel registration and catch data collection.

In a webinar on 1 September, the SR participants were introduced to the new SR workplan proposing next steps and activities, especially related to FIP catalyzation and in support of mitigating fishery/FIP overarching challenges (e.g., for small-scale fisheries) and improving national management measures for snapper and grouper fisheries in Indonesia.

In September, two new participants, Channel Seafoods International and Fishin’ Co, joined the roundtable.

Project Contact: If you would like more information about the Supply Chain Roundtable or wish to support it, please contact SFP.