In the Greenlandic fishery, bycatch is defined as the catch of all living organisms that are not covered by the vessel’s or fisherman’s fishing license.

For example, if you, as a commercial fisherman, only have a license to fish for cod, and on your fishing trip also catch Greenland halibut in your net, then you must report Greenland halibut as a bycatch. However, if you have a fishing license for Greenland halibut, it will not be considered a bycatch, but must be reported in the normal way via the sales note or logbook.


When using pound nets for fishind, fish below the provided minimum sizes must not be kept on board, but must be released alive if possible. Please note that released catch of fish must also be reported in the logbook or via the sales note.

Bycatches of Greenland halibut (caught with gear other than trawls) shall not be retained on board, but shall be released alive if possible.


Female crabs should always be released alive if possible.

Male crabs must be released if they measure less than 10 cm from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. Measure across the back shield by the third leg.

Soft crabs

Soft crabs must be released and must always be registered in the logbook. When you as a fisherman register bycatch of soft crabs, the quantities will not be deducted from the quota. Only the quantities of crabs sold to the buyer will be deducted from the quota.

It is important that catches of soft crabs are recorded in the logbook, as the knowledge is a great help in ensuring a good and long-term fishery for crabs.

Bitter Crab Disease

Crabs infected with BCD (Bitter Crab Disease) must not be released, but must be brought ashore. This is to avoid spreading to healthy crabs.

Corals and sea sponges

In Greenland, you cannot get a fishing license for fishing for corals and sea sponges. Corals and sea sponges will therefore always be referred to as bycatch.

Catches of coral and sea sponges must always be recorded in the logbook.

If you catch more than 60 kg live corals and/or 300 kg live sea sponges in a trawl haul, you MUST:

  • stop fishing
  • move at least 2 nautical miles from the end position of the trawl haul in a direction where you least expect to catch corals and sea sponges
  • notify GFLK per. mail (GF**@na***.gl)

You can download the guide for identifying corals and sea sponges in different languages, including:

Corals: Greenlandic, Danish, English

Sea sponges: English

Marine mammals

Remember that everything you catch in your fishing gear must be reported in your logbook or stated in the sales declaration. If you catch marine mammals and birds you shall also report this in the logbook. Here is a list of designations for Marine Mammals and Birds.

Read also...

Sales note reporting for fishermen

Here you can read about landing declaration for commercial fishermen and find guidance on this

Sale note reporting for buyers

Here you can get information about the purchaser’s obligations, and find guides and templates


Here you can read about registration of bycatches, including corals, sea fungi, marine mammals and birds.

Hail Messages

Here you can read about the different types of hail messages and find templates

Logbook keeping

Here you can read about different types of logbooks

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