Fisheries and Catch


Fishing is Greenland’s single most important trade. Fishing for prawns and Greenlandic halibut and some other species is regulated by quota and license regulations decided by the government. Fishing comes in two breeds, coastal - and offshore fishing. Coastal fishing supplies land-based seafood buyers, while the offshore fishing fleet primarily consists of factory vessels with on-board production. The land based fishing industry is dominated by two companies, the government-owned Royal Greenland, and the private owned Polar Seafood. Royal Greenland is Greenlands largest company. In the last couple of years, a number of private seafood enterprises have appeared on the scene.

Greenland has bilateral or trilateral fisheries agreements with the Faroe Islands, Norway, Russia and Iceland and has a general fisheries agreement with the EU. Greenland has the legal authority over the fisheries sector, and Greenlands Fishery Control authority (GFLK) deploys observers on Greenlandic and international vessels, primarily on shrimp trawlers.

Huntsmanship has been a way of life in Greenland for generations. Even today, hunting provides an important supplement to household economy. Hunting is regulated by means of seasons and permissions. A general hunting license is mandatory for anyone, who wants to hunt. The general license comes in two breeds, a professional and recreational. In addition, a specific license is needed when hunting quota – limited species. The quota system regulates the number of animals available for hunting. Professional hunting license holders usually don’t make a full living from hunting. In addition, they will often do dinghy fishing in summer and ice fishing in winter.

Seal still plays an important role. The seal pelt is usually traded, while the meat is consumed or used for dog fodder in the northern districts. About 50 per cent of traded seal pelt is tanned by Great Greenland, the countrys only tannery. Pelt from land mammals is traded as well. A number of whale species have hunting quota. The meat is consumed in Greenland only, and whaling plays a minor economic role. Reindeer and musk ox are the most important land species. Meat from sea mammals, musk ox and reindeer is traded at local markets and larger shops. Sheep and lamb are butchered at Neqi A/S. Guillemot and eider hunting is regulated by means of day quota some of the year. The remaining bird hunt is season regulated. In general, the police enforces hunting regulations.

Tables in Statbank

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Fishing and hunting

Price index

First sale

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Fishing and hunting

Price index

First sale


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How many have the name ?




Greenlandic names by January 1.st 2017. You can read more on names here



Greenland in Figures

is a concise and clear introduction to Greenland. The leaflet is available in a handy pocket format and contains 40 pages of useful information on a wide range of areas such as population, foreign trade, tourism and social services.





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