About 8 percent of global production of snapper and grouper can be classified as sustainable or improving, and the key to improving the sector worldwide lies largely in Southeast Asia, according to the newest sector report released by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP).

The report, released today, is the latest sector report focused on SFP’s Target 75 Initiative, a global movement launched last year that sets the goal of seeing producers of 75 percent of the world’s seafood operating sustainably or improving toward sustainable production by the close of 2020.

Improving the global snapper and grouper sector will require major improvements to both fisheries and aquaculture in the industry, making it difficult for the sector to hit T75 goals in time for the 2020 deadline, the report notes.

“The mostly artisanal and geographically distributed nature of the fisheries requires a co-management approach, which in many countries will require investments in basic fisheries management. These improvements are required at a national level to truly effect change; thus, national-level FIPs may be a key tool,” the report’s authors wrote.

“The low sustainability baseline combined with the challenging nature of these fisheries and aquaculture operations makes this sector one of the most challenging with respect to T75 – in this case, 75 percent is a stretch goal.  But with the help of industry we believe substantial progress can be made towards T75 in the next few years,” said Megan Westmeyer of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.

To promote and effect greater positive change in the global sector, SFP highly recommends the use of supply chain roundtables (SRs) such as the Mexican Seafood SR and Indonesian Snapper and Grouper SR. According to the report, existing SRs have the potential to bring an additional 26 percent of global snapper and grouper production into sustainable or improving status.