Aru, Arafura and Timor Seas, Indonesia Snapper – Grouper



Three species – Lutjanusmalabaricus (Malabar snapper), L. erythropterus (crimson or scarlet snapper), and Pristipomoidesmultidens (gold band snapper) – are the most economically important fish for export from Indonesia. Total landing of snapper in Indonesia was118,608 tonnes in 2011, with Eastern Timor Sea, Aru Bay, and the Arafura Sea being the major fishing grounds for this species, contributing to more than 30 percent of the total catch, with 46,236 tonnes landed (MMAF 2011). The 2011 data is the most up to date data available from the Indonesian Ministry of Fisheries. Find 3 years of Intan Seafoods catch data for these species on FishSource on Sustainable Fisheries Partnership website.

Three main grouper species – Epinephelusbleekeri (Duskytail grouper), Epinephelustauvina (Greasy grouper) and Epinepheluspoecilonotus (Dot-dash grouper) are among the catch of bottom longline and handline vessels beside snapper. These three grouper species are also important fish for export. However, surprisingly grouper data is not yet available from government catch statistics in any WPP in Indonesia. Intan Seafood is recording Grouper catch data from several WPPs. Find three years of Intan Seafoods catch data for three years on FishSource.

Information on the National status of the stock for both for snapper and grouper is not available.The only comprehensive stock assessment at the regional scale is the Indonesia and Australia shared stock of red snappers in the Arafura and Timor Seas that was conducted between 1999 and 2003.No capacity for stock assessment using either government data or FIP data has been developed. The most comprehensive information for these Indonesian species is industry catch data complied on FishSource and the TNC data complied in 2017.

There are no set biological reference points, therefore the status of the Indonesian snapper and grouper populations cannot be accurately determined. This situation will continue until such time as data collection, stock assessment, and management capacity are developed within the Indonesian government fisheries framework. As Snapper and Grouper are demersal and territorial in nature this FIP will begin to employ simple stock health indicator for local populations in 2019.

There are no specific management objectives set and no national fishery management plans. As with all other fisheries in Indonesia, the management strategy so far has only been to try to control the fishing efforts by controlling IUU fishing, trying to limit the types of fishing gear used i.e. bottom trawl ban 2016, and limiting fishing vessel size thereby effectively reducing the size of the fleet.

Small vessels are poorly documented and have no formal catch data reporting. Therefore, it is unknown if the reduction in fleet and IUU fishing has had any effect on inshore Snapper and Grouper populations.

  • Stock status data search
  • Compile all available stock data for the Arafura and Timur Seas
Conduct comprehensive desk top search for stock data from all reputable sources. Archive and share data with Fish Source and publish results. Rona Pasaribu

G.C. Knecht

Dec 2019  On going
  • Continue reporting catch data (PIs: 1.2.3, 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.3.3)
  • Archive catch data in house as well as upload to FishSource  and other international data bases


Archive Excel sheet quarterly. Geerry Kosasih

Rona Pasaribu

December 2019 (updated quarterly) Q1 of 2019 is being updated.
  • Develop a White Paper supporting the use of ILO standards in the place of social audits. (PIs: 3.1.1)
  • Continue the work from 2018. The goal of 2019 is to socialize WAES to the Indonesian Government and US market with the support of ILO and Indonesian Seafarers Union


Send White Paper, presentation re Labour Standard, contrast/ compare to ILO, socialize with MMAF/ Government. Recruit US seafood industry players to accept WAES concept as proof of safe and fair supply chains. Rona Pasaribu

Gerald C. Knecht

Brant Connors

December 2020 On going
  • Document location of small vessel supply < 30 gt (PIs: 1.2.3)
  • Map of buying locations to WPP and closest landmass


Identify tonnage and species from each location quarterly Intan Seafood December 2019 On going
  • Traceability (PIs: 1.2.3, 3.2.3)
  • Install internal system to comply with SIMP audit standards


SIMP documentation Geerry Kosasih December 2019








On going

The improvement need identified in this fishery is the development of a management plan for snapper-grouper fisheries for both inshore and deep water fisheries. The FIP can contribute to this effort by continuing the availability of accurate catch data for stock assessment and uploading catch data to global data bases e.g. FishSource.

This FIP will review International Labor Organization standards to apply these standards under a certification scheme and replace conventional social audits. The purpose of this task is to use existing standards that are recognized internationally in place of conventional social audits. There are only 3 successful social audits in the wild catch sector of the Indonesian seafood industry. The dismal rate of uptake is caused by serious dislocations and greatly increased costs that result from conventional audits. Neither social audits nor Indonesian labor law specifically address the seasonal nature of the capture fisheries sector. The lack of consistent supply caused by seasonality and weather must be addressed in order to create broader support for the certification of fair labor practices and reasonable working conditions in the wild caught seafood industry.



This FIP supports and contributes to the improvement of sustainability of snapper-grouper in Indonesia, through FIP development in near shore fisheries in various WPPs in Indonesia. The FIP forecasted outcomes are to:

  • Continue to accumulate accurate catch data and upload to Fish Source.
  • Accumulate stock data from government, private industry, and NGO sources.
  • Apply certified International Labor Organization standards to operations in place of conventional audit.