Last Update: December 2016

Indonesia is considered to be 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 (Epinepheluspoecilonotus). These three grouper species are also important fish for export.

The fisheries are targeted by artisanal and larger 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 market-based seafood suppliers 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
Hilo Fish
Netuno USA
North Atlantic
Sea Delight
SouthFresh Farms

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, Sea Delight/WWF
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 major challenges, including:

  • Lack of consistent stock status data for snapper and grouper species in Indonesian territorial waters
  • Inconsistent catch data reporting by semi-industrial vessels
  • Misidentification of species due to lack of willingness to categorize catch per species,
  • Lack of data on the artisanal snapper/grouper fisheries
  • Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, especially in Arafura and Aru Seas. 

Improvement Recommendations: 

  • Improve catch data collection system for both artisanal fisheries and larger vessels and ensure complete and timely submission of data sets (i.e., catches, effort, size, etc.) through better logbook submission.
  • Encourage cooperation between Indonesian industry and government in implementation of the National Observer Program on vessels >30 GT.
  • Encourage cooperation between Indonesian government and industry in initiating data collection for small-scale fisheries to support the management of snapper-grouper fisheries in the fishing management areas.
  • Support the government to improve snapper and grouper management and policies using an ecosystem-based approach.
  • Assists in prioritization of fisheries for FIP initiation by identifying major production/catch areas in Indonesia for export.
  • Encourage supply chain to initiate or participate in a fishery improvement project (FIP) and to publicly report the progress of the FIP regularly.


The SR prioritizes the following fisheries for the initiation and expansion of FIPs and encourages additional participation.

1.  Bottom longline snapper grouper FIP in Arafura, Aru and Timor Sea

2.  Small-scale snapper and grouper FIP in Makassar Strait, South Sulawesi

3.  Small-scale snapper and grouper FIP in East Java. 

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


Current Objectives for 2016: 

1.     Snapper/grouper FIPs expand in geographical scale and participation (at least one new FIP established).

2.     SR participants sourcing from Indonesian fisheries contact FIP leaders and request improvement in catch data reporting.

3.     FIPs support the Indonesian government in implementation of the national observer program on vessels >30 GT (at least 10 boats from industrial snapper and grouper fisheries involved in the National Observer Onboard Program).

4.Monitor progress and support the implementation of FIPs, with all FIPs rated A-C 


Progress Update: 


January – March 

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

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

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 to continue 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, Mr. Saut P. Hutagalung, Director General of Fisheries Products Processing and Marketing, MMAF, stated that the Government of Indonesia 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 platform linking to regional, national, and global ocean campaigns or food security and sustainable growth. 

FIP participants presented challenges such as a) the 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. 

April – June 

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 reason for these companies to develop FIP was a request from their buyers. It is in the 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 has been launched on the website provided by LINI

July – September 

August: North Atlantic (SR participant/FIP supporter) assisted 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 2015. E-logbook data has been filled in during each fishing operation. 


January – March 

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

April – June 

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

July – December

Two new participants joined the SR and 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. 

The SR organized a producers meeting in Makassar on 21 December, where FIP implementers and interested producers have been 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 a initiating a new FIP for the small-scale snapper/grouper fishery in the Java Sea.

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