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 Indonesian 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, including traceability and quality beside sustainability, at national level.

For more details on the sustainability status of the fisheries, progress of the FIPs, and improvement recommendations, please click here

The T75 sector report for snapper and grouper details the sustainability status of the sector. Based on 2014 production data, about 147,000 tonnes (16 percent) of global production are currently considered sustainable or improving, using publicly available information on MSC status and FIP progress ratings reviewed in August 2019.

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. 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 12 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, one additional national-level FIP is under development by the Indonesian Demersal Association .

1)     Indonesian Demersal Association – Indonesia snapper and grouper – bottom longline, dropline, handline, tram and gillnet- A national-level FIP led by the Indonesian Demersal Association (ADI), a new national industry group formed in 2019, is now listed as a prospective FIP on Fishery Progress.

T75 progress:

Work continues, and some progress has been made toward reaching the T75 goals for snapper and grouper, with the development of two national-level snapper and grouper FIPs in Indonesia. However, market demands, the multispecies/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 29 percent by 2020. More investment in Indonesia and Mexico will help move the T75 goals forward.

Current participants in the Indonesian Snapper and Grouper Supply Chain Roundtable include:

Anova Seafood
Beaver Street Fisheries
Channel Seafoods International
Harbor Seafood
Hilo Fish
Netuno USA
Norpac Fisheries Export
North Atlantic
Santa Monica Seafood
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.

Q2 2020

Improvement needs, objectives, and action recommendations for 2020 are in development, and will be published after the annual SR meeting.

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. Snapper and grouper species 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 its 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. Support the Indonesian Demersal Association (ADI) by providing guidance and technical support in the development of the industry-led national FIP.
  2. Establish a dialogue with the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF) regarding stock status information, catch data collection, and the observer program.
  3. Address the small-scale sector of the snapper and grouper fishery through co-management activities to better understand the artisanal nature and socioeconomic impacts of this segment of the fleet.
  4. Engage foodservice and retail partners on the sustainability issues and best sourcing practices to address the harvest of juvenile fish based on market demands.
  5. 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
    • 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 Indonesian Demersal Association for Indonesian snapper and grouper producers and exporters.
  • Support the national-level FIP approaches being developed by the Indonesian Demersal Association and The Nature Conservancy.
  • Encourage additional participation in national-level FIPs.


Indonesian Snapper and Grouper SR Update: July – September 2020

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. 

NOTE: Due to the impacts of COVID-19, activities associated with the Indonesian Snapper and Grouper Supply Chain Roundtable and other industry partners have been affected. SFP is in the process of assessing impacts to this sector, both in the field and in the markets, and will shift activities accordingly in order to support domestic and international supply chain members.

Read the latest Indonesian Snapper and Grouper SR update. 

A full summary of past progress, including details from past quarterly updates, can be found in the SR Chronicles.

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 


One national-level FIP was launched in August 2019 (led by The Nature Conservancy), and one additional national-level FIP was launched by the Indonesian Demersal Association (ADI)  .

Indonesia snapper and grouper – bottom longline, dropline, handline, trap, and gillnet (ADI)

  • The Indonesian Demersal Association FIP was launched in September 2020 on Fishery Progress and can be viewed here.
  • The FIP is a comprehensive FIP, and the scoping document and workplan can be viewed in the FIP profile.

SFP continues to provide technical support to the Indonesian Demersal Association (ADI) to implement its national-level snapper and grouper FIP.

As discussed, this industry-led FIP merged the three site-level basic FIPs (Makassar Strait, North Java Sea, and Aru/Arafura Sea) and aims to complement  the national FIP led by The Nature Conservancy. 

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  national-level fishery improvement priorities that support both national FIPs. SR participants should continue to encourage their suppliers to join ADI and provide input to ADI on prioritizing activities in its national FIP workplan. The SR should explore and consider funding opportunities to support specific activities in the national FIP workplan. 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 

Note: With the development of the industry-led national snapper and grouper FIP, the three site-level FIPs (Makassar Strait, North Java Sea, and Aru/Arafura Sea)  merged with the national FIP led by ADI and continue to address their key goals under the umbrella of the national FIP.

Comprehensive Indonesian Snapper and Grouper FIPs

Indonesia deepwater groundfish - dropline, longline, trap and gillnet

  • The FIP was established in August 2019.
  • In Q3 2020, the FIP received an A rating, indicating that the FIP has made advanced progress.
  • The full fishery profile is posted on Fishery Progress here.

Further support needed: The SR should ask FIP participants to continue supporting the FIP objectives on reducing the amount of juvenile snapper and grouper in the supply chain and continued development of harvest strategies for the future. Encourage FIP participants to continue to make progress toward FIP goals in order to maintain an A-C rating. Please contact Peter Mous at The Nature Conservancy for more information on the FIP. 

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

National policy issues

Members of the SR (8), US retail companies (2), and a US food distributor (1) sent a letter to the new Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Edhy Prabowo, to express support for the broad policy issues outlined in the Indonesia policy brief, including: 1) better understanding of the fleet characterization/operation, 2) enhanced compliance with regulations through non-regulatory means, 3) fishery science to support management in the blue swimming crab and snapper and grouper fisheries, and 4) social and economic science to aid in policy development and management.

Further support needed: The SR should review policy issues and incorporate emerging issues into an updated policy brief in 2021.

Juvenile snapper issue


Discussions with SR participants on developing in-person and/or webinar learning sessions targeting foodservice and retail partners using the two fact sheets developed by SFP and TNC have been delayed as a result of COVID-19 impacts. However, SR participants continue to share the fact sheets, and additional engagement with the SR is planned for Q3 and Q4 2020 (see below):

Snapper Grouper Overview – This fact sheet outlines some basic biology of snapper and grouper species and the use of scientific names and common names in the market, and describes how this can impact the fisheries management and marketing of these species. 

Recommendations for Sustainable Sourcing and Avoiding Juvenile Fish, and Sourcing Specifications Table – This fact sheet provides some recommendations/tips for what to look for when sourcing fish in different product forms, in order to avoid sourcing juvenile fish. The tables focus on Indonesian snapper and grouper species only and provide the size/weight of various fish products to look for to ensure you are sourcing adult fish. The top six exported species for both snapper and grouper are included in the tables.

Further support needed: SR participants assist with connecting retail and foodservice partners to engage on this issue through virtual learning sessions in 2021, once foodservice partners begin to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. For the long term, support national-level policy to address the issue of domestic demand for juvenile snapper in Indonesia. 

Indonesian Demersal Association (ADI) 

Update: SFP facilitated and hosted a virtual joint meeting in September between the SR and ADI members to exchange information and ideas on implementation of the newly launched national FIP. Chairman Novi Saputora provided remarks to the SR on the development of the national FIP and expected implementation of FIP activities. Discussions were held between participants about expectations for support of ADI FIP activities and the interests of the SR in specific FIP activities.

Further support needed: SR participants continue to encourage their suppliers to join the Indonesian Demersal Association and the FIP, provide input on priority activities to support implementation of the national FIP, and explore and consider funding opportunities to support specific activities in the national FIP workplan. Additionally, the SR should consider establishing a Chair for the SR who would help lead the work of the SR as well as serve as the liaison with ADI on their FIP

4. Expansion of the SR 

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

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