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 the 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 Indonesia Snapper and GrouperSR is primarily comprised of US importers of Indonesian snapper and grouper, although one Indonesia-based supplier (who supplies to domestic retailers) recently joined the SR. Current participation is adequate to allow some forward progress, but 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 Indonesia 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 have recently begun to discuss the concept of a national-level snapper and grouper FIP (i.e. all levels of the supply chain collaborating on a FIP focusing on improving national management of all snapper and grouper fisheries throughout Indonesia). Such a national-level FIP would 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 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 Grouper in Makassar Strait FIP, industry group

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

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


PT. CSFI (Cilacap Samudera Fishing Industry) 

We are seeking additional participants, particularly suppliers to food service in North American, European, Indonesian or other Asian markets. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

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. 

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.
  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. Determine whether further steps are needed to reduce harvest of juvenile fish based on market demands.
  6. Monitor progress and support the implementation of FIPs and ensure all FIPs receive A–C progress ratings on FishSource

Action Recommendations: 

  • Request your supplier to participate in the association for Indonesian snapper and grouper producers and exporters.
  • 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).

Progress Update

An overview of past progress can be found here.