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. 

The Indonesia Snapper and Grouper Supply Chain Roundtable provides a platform since 2015 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), especially in small scale fisheries, and discuss future partnership and cooperation opportunities for improvements of snapper and grouper fisheries, incl. traceability and quality beside sustainability, at national level.

The T75 sector report for snapper and grouper details the state of the sector. Based on 2014 production data, 73,000 tonnes, or 8 percent of global production, are currently considered sustainable or improving, using publicly available information on MSC status and FIP progress ratings reviewed in early October 2017.

The Indonesian Snapper and Grouper SR is primarily composed of US importers of Indonesian snapper and grouper, and one Indonesia-based supplier (which supplies to domestic retailers) that recently joined the SR. Current participation is adequate to allow some forward progress. However, in order to achieve the T75 goals for Indonesia, this SR must undergo extensive expansion to include more US-based importers, more Indonesia-based suppliers, and suppliers to other markets in Asia. Participants in the Indonesian Snapper and Grouper SR are currently scoping FIPs in the Java Sea, Aru Islands, and Sumbawa.

In addition, both the SR participants and producer groups in Indonesia are supportive of and have begun work on a national-level snapper and grouper FIP approach (i.e. all levels of the supply chain collaborating on a FIP focused on improving national management of all snapper and grouper fisheries throughout Indonesia). A national-level FIP approach would help shift a substantial amount of snapper and grouper production, roughly 24.5 percent of global production, to the “improving” category and could serve as a model for many other countries.

Fisheries and/or FIPs covered: 

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

The following FIPs are supported and monitored: 

In addition to the site-specific FIPs, two national-level FIPs are also under development:

1)     A national-level FIP will be developed by the National Indonesia Demersal Association, a new industry group being formed in 2019.

2)     The Nature Conservancy is leading development of an industry-wide snapper and grouper FIP, which is expected to launch in August 2019

An overview of the fisheries covered by the SR can be found here.

T75 progress:

Work continues, and some progress has been made toward reaching the T75 goals for snapper and grouper. However, market demands, the multi-species/artisanal nature of the snapper and grouper fishery, and management challenges in target countries provide additional complications to reaching 75 percent by 2020. The more realistic goal for snapper and grouper is 35-40 percent by 2020. More investment in Indonesia and Mexico will help move the T75 goals forward.

Current participants in the Indonesia Snapper & Grouper Supply Chain Roundtable include:

Anova Seafood
Beaver Street Fisheries
Channel Seafoods International
Hilo Fish
Netuno USA
Norpac Fisheries Export
North Atlantic
Sea Delight
Seafood Imports, Inc. 


PT. CSFI (Cilacap Samudera Fishing Industry) 

We are seeking additional participants, particularly suppliers to food service in North American, European, and Indonesian or other Asian markets. 

For more information, please contact Amber Von Harten.

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 snappers and groupers coming from the artisanal fishery are not landed in the Fish Auction Hall (TPI), and therefore are not recorded under the official data collection system. 
  • Logbook data 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 of those 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. About 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. 

Current objectives: 

  1. Expand the scale/scope of existing FIPs and develop a National Indonesia Snapper and Grouper FIP.
  2. Support the formation of an Indonesian producer and exporter association for snapper and grouper (National Demersal Association).
  3. Establish a dialogue with MMAF regarding stock status information, catch data collection, and the observer program.
  4. Pilot a verification system to ensure proper vessel registration and logbook submission within SR participant supply chains.
  5. Develop sourcing recommendations and supporting outreach materials to address the harvest of juvenile fish based on market demands.
  6. Monitor progress and support the implementation of FIPs, and ensure all FIPs are reporting on Fishery Progress and receive A–C progress ratings on FishSource

Action recommendations for SR participants: 

  • Ensure FIPs are routinely reporting publicly on Fishery Progress.
  • Request the supply chain to provide documentation that:
    • Both industrial and artisanal vessels that are supplying snapper and grouper to them are properly registered; and
    • Industrial vessels are submitting logbooks to the MMAF.
  • Evaluate size classes in your sourcing portfolio to determine whether too much emphasis is being placed on immature fish, and commit to alternative sourcing practices.
  • Request your supplier to participate in the National Demersal Association for Indonesian snapper and grouper producers and exporters.
  • Support the national-level FIP approaches being developed by the National Demersal Association and The Nature Conservancy.
  • Encourage additional participation in existing FIPs.
  • Catalyze FIPs in the following priority fisheries:
    • Artisanal snapper and grouper fishery in Sumbawa Island (gears include hook and line, handlines, and bottom longlines); and
    • Artisanal snapper and grouper fishery in Aru and Tanimbar Islands (gear includes traps and gillnets).

Progress update:

An overview of past progress can be found here.

Indonesian Snapper and Grouper SR Update: July - September 2019

This briefing provides an update on progress, activities, and news in the areas of interest to the SR. It also indicates any actions and further support needed. 

Read the latest Indonesian Snapper and Grouper SR newsletter here.

A full summary of past progress, including details from past quarterly updates, can be found here.

1. Improvement efforts in Target 75 priority fisheries 

Please find an overview of fisheries identified in the T75 sector report for snapper and grouper, including those currently not necessarily prioritized by the SR, here

National-level Indonesian Snapper and Grouper Improvements 


  • Two national-level FIPs are in the process of being developed.

1)     In August, the National Demersal Association (ADI) received official legal registration from the Indonesian notary to be recognized as an industry organization under Indonesian law. The Association is planning a workshop in November to invite Indonesian snapper and grouper companies to discuss issues surrounding the fishery and markets. Based on discussions, ADI will begin to develop the national snapper and grouper FIP workplan and activities. See the National Demersal Association Roadmap here.

2)     The Nature Conservancy launched its national-level FIP focused on snapper and grouper in August 2019. The name of the FIP is Indonesia deepwater groundfish - dropline, longline, trap, and gillnet. To date, there are 12 Indonesian and US companies signed on to the FIP. FIP participants have committed to transparency in their sourcing and to not buy juvenile snapper. The FIP will also focus on data collection and governance objectives. View the profile on Fishery Progress here.  

For clarity on how the two national-level FIPs will coordinate efforts using different approaches, read the Joint Statement developed by SFP and The Nature Conservancy here

Further support needed: Support the continued development of a national-level approach for FIPs. SR participants should encourage their suppliers to join ADI and the national-level FIPs. Further, the SR should provide input to ADI on issues of importance to address in their national FIP workplan (juvenile snapper issues, socioeconomic data needs, harvest strategy development, and fleet characteristics). SR participants also need to communicate to FIP participants the importance of publicly reporting FIP progress on Fishery Progress, to ensure accurate FIP ratings and transparency. 

2. Support to established FIPs and improvement efforts 

Please find an overview of all existing FIPs and improvement efforts, their current progress ratings, and status here

Site-level Indonesian Snapper and Grouper FIPs 

Indonesia North Java Sea snapper and grouper FIP


  • The FIP was established in 2018 and began implementing the FIP workplan in 2019.
  • In Q3, the fishery received a C rating.
  • The full fishery profile is posted on Fishery Progress here. 
  • The FIP supported the installation of vessel tracking devices on three vessels, to test the technology and integrate the vessel tracking information with the port sampling conducted shoreside.

Further support needed: Encourage FIP participants to continue to make progress on harvest strategy and compliance goals in order to maintain an A-C rating. Additional support for this FIP is needed. Please contact Dessy Anggraeni at SFP for more information on the FIP.

Indonesia Aru and Arafura demersal fish - longline FIP


  • This FIP was established in 2012 and was formerly named the Bottom Longline Snapper and Grouper (Aru, Arafura, and Timor Seas) FIP. The name has recently been changed to the Indonesia Aru and Arafura demersal fish - longline FIP.
  • In Q3, the fishery maintained a B rating and has recently submitted catch/production data to meet the data collection objectives of the FIP.
  • The full fishery profile is posted on Fishery Progress here.

Further support needed: Encourage FIP participants to continue to make progress on harvest strategy, monitoring, and data collection and compliance goals, in order to maintain an A-C rating. Additional support for this FIP is needed. Please contact Dessy Anggraeni at SFP for more information on the FIP. 

Indonesia Makassar Strait snapper and grouper FIP


  • The FIP was established in 2015 and in Q2, the fishery received a C rating. The FIP is still making progress, but there has been no significant change in the last six-12 months.
  • The FIP participants reviewed the data collected for the length-at-maturity project at their processing facilities and will continue data collection after receiving additional training. They have also committed to regular sampling during the peak fishing season. The full fishery profile is posted on Fishery Progress here

Further support needed: The SR should ask FIP participants to continue data collection efforts for the length-at-maturity project and stress the importance of these data to developing harvest strategies for the future. Encourage FIP participants to continue to make progress on harvest strategy, length-at-maturity, and catch/production data collection, as well as boat registration goals, in order to maintain an A-C rating. Additional support for this FIP is needed. Please contact Dessy Anggraeni at SFP for more information on the FIP. 

3. Support for mitigation of overarching fishery/FIP sustainability issues 

Juvenile snapper Issue


  • SR participants provided initial feedback on three fact sheets related to sourcing juvenile fish, including an overview of the basic biology of snapper and grouper, an overview of the Indonesian snapper and grouper fishery, and best sourcing practices paired with a sourcing specifications table to help buyers avoid products that are juvenile fish.
  • With the support of the Walton Family Foundation, Changing Tastes completed a brief study of the US market for snapper and grouper, exploring ways to understand how chefs and purchasing managers use snapper and grouper today, the role of juvenile (“plate-sized”) fish of about 500g on American menus, and their knowledge of where their snapper and grouper come from. The study explored how their purchasing preferences may change as they become aware of the sustainability challenges of using juvenile fish. Study results will be shared with partners in Q4, and a plan for distributing the results publicly is underway.

Further support needed: SR participants provide input on best sourcing practices to share with their buyers and continue to try alternative sourcing to avoid sourcing juvenile snapper. For the long term, support national-level policy to address the issue of domestic demand for juvenile snapper in Indonesia. 

National Demersal Association (ADI) 


  • The Association received official designation as an industry entity from the notary in August and held a meeting in September.
  • ADI is planning a workshop in November to invite Indonesian snapper and grouper companies to discuss issues surrounding the fishery and markets. Based on discussions, ADI will begin to develop the national snapper and grouper FIP workplan and activities. See the National Demersal Association Roadmap here. 

Further support needed: SR participants encourage their suppliers to join the National Demersal Association and provide input on issues of importance to the fishery to support development of a national FIP.

Indonesia Policy Brief


  • SFP staff developed an Indonesia Policy Brief to address policy needs and solutions for Indonesian snapper and grouper and blue swimming crab.
  • The brief was distributed to the SR in September for initial feedback. Feedback will be incorporated into the brief.
  • Read the Indonesia Policy Brief here.

Further support needed: SR participants will provide feedback on the policy brief and sign on to a letter of support.

4. Expansion of the SR 

SFP is in the process of identifying additional SR participants, particularly suppliers to food service companies in North American, European, and Indonesian or other Asian markets. 

Further support needed: Promote the SR to fellow industry members and invite participation, and share your supply chain knowledge with SFP. Please contact Amber Von Harten.