Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q1. What are ELOG client applications?

A1. ELOG client applications are used by fish harvesters to submit their required logbook data as outlined in their licence conditions. They are created by third-party software developers and may be produced in different forms, such as computer software or an application that you may use on an electronic device, such as your smartphone or tablet. By using ELOG client applications, fish harvesters are able to enter and transmit their catch and effort information to Fisheries and Oceans Canada electronically.

Q2. Can I continue to report catch and effort information using paper logbooks?

A2. Each fishery may have different reporting requirements, such as the mandatory or optional use of an ELOG client application. It’s always best to consult the wording in your licence conditions. 

Q3. Why is Fisheries and Oceans Canada moving towards the use of electronic catch and effort reporting?

A3. Use of innovative technology will allow for improvements in the way that Fisheries and Oceans Canada manages catch and effort information that it receives from fish harvesters. It will also allow fish harvesters to use a variety of new tools to report their catch and effort information in a more efficient manner. 

Furthermore, electronic catch and effort reporting allows the Department to modernize the way we do business, ensuring more accurate and timely reporting. Electronic logbooks support sustainable management of fisheries resources and improved ability to gather data for traceability and eco-certification. 

Q4. What is a qualified ELOG client application?

A4. A “qualified” client application has gone through a process between the developer and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to establish that the client application is compatible with our systems and follows our standards. 

Q5. How do I find qualified ELOG client applications? 

A5. A list of qualified ELOG client applications can be found here. This list will always be kept up to date with the most recent versions that are available. Note that your licence conditions may require you to ensure your software is updated to reflect the most recent version of your ELOG client application. 

Q6. Who is responsible for purchasing ELOG client application software?

A6. Fish harvesters are responsible for purchasing ELOG client application software. A list of ELOG client applications available for purchase can be found here

Q7. How much do ELOG client applications cost?

A7. The third-party application developers are responsible for setting the cost. Prices will vary depending on the software, but developers are required to meet Fisheries and Oceans Canada standards that ensure client applications are cost-effective for all stakeholders. 

Q8. Does Fisheries and Oceans Canada recommend specific applications?

A8. No, Fisheries and Oceans Canada does not endorse one application over another within the same fishery. All ELOG client applications listed on the website have been qualified by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the fisheries indicated. 

Q9. Is my mobile device (cell phone, tablet, etc.) compatible with the application?

A9. Device compatibility may differ according to the technology used by ELOG developers. Please contact the supplier of the ELOG software you want to use for more information. 

ELOG Keys and GCKeys

Q10. What is the difference between an ELOG Key and a GCKey

A10. An ELOG key is a string of 24 characters that must be copied and pasted into your ELOG application before transmitting logbook information to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. You can copy the ELOG Key right from the Department’s website and paste into your application.

In order to obtain an ELOG Key, users must first obtain a GCKey. A GCKey is required in order to sign into various government services in a secure manner, such as the National Online Licensing System.  

For instructions on obtaining a GCKey, please visit the Getting your GCKey: Step-by-Step page

Q11. Why do I need an ELOG Key?

A11. You will require an ELOG Key to ensure personal authentication so that your catch and effort reporting is properly allocated. An ELOG Key is also required to allow for the transmission to be done in a secure and protected manner. 

Q12. Can I use the GCKey that I already have to get an ELOG Key?

A12. Yes.

Q13. Why do I need to use a GCKey or Sign-In Partner login information?

A13. This information allows the Department to recognize the identity of a person using the system in a secure manner. 

Q14. What if I’ve forgotten my GCKey password?

A14. Contact GCKey Support. Customer Service representatives are available to assist you by telephone. You will be asked questions to validate your identity before a new password is issued. Be sure to have on hand the answers that you provided during the GCKey registration process. 

Q15. Are ELOG Keys specific to one licence holder?

A15. An ELOG Key is not specific to one licence holder, however it is specific to an individual (a person). It does not require you to hold a licence, have a Fisher Identification Number (FIN) or other requirements.

Q16. Will there be one ELOG key per species?

A16. No, a licence holder, regardless of the number of licences held, will have one ELOG key. This ELOG key will be used with all of their licences. 

Q17. Will there be one ELOG Key per Indigenous group or organization or one for each harvester fishing under the Indigenous group or organization’s permit?

A17. There can only be one ELOG Key per harvester. The creation of a personal ELOG Key does not require you to hold a licence, have a Fisher Identification Number (FIN) or other requirements. For information on how to set up an account for Indigenous fishery purposes, please contact your ELOG application provider.  

However, it is important to note that even though a designated person may enter their personal ELOG Key in their personal ELOG software when designated to fish for an Indigenous group or organization, the individual must enter the Indigenous group or organization’s FIN and licence number when submitting their ELOG. If several licences are used during the same fishing trip, the harvester will be able to enter one Effort Section for each of the licences fished during that trip. This will give DFO accurate information about each active licence.

Q18. Is my ELOG Key from last year still valid? 

A18. Your ELOG Key is still valid if it has been used at least once in the last 13 months. Your ELOG Key is considered active once you send an ELOG to DFO. You may verify the validity of your key through the ELOG Key System. If your key does not appear, you will need to obtain a new one

Q19. Do I need several ELOG Keys if I have several licences?

A19. No, you only require one ELOG Key regardless of the number of licences you hold. If you require different ELOG modules for your fishery, you must use the same ELOG Key in each. 

Technical Support

Q20. Who can I contact for technical support? 

A20. Assistance with technical support, installation, use and product support for all ELOG client applications will be provided solely by the client application providers

Q21. What assistance will Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Client Support be able to provide? 

A21.

  • Answering frequently asked questions regarding GCKey, ELOG Key and the ELOG program,
  • Providing assistance related to obtaining an ELOG Key from the National ELOG Key System
  • Transferring calls for clients who wish to request a change to the ELOG data they have already submitted or guiding the clients to the appropriate resource for any other issue.

22. What if the system is down?

A22. All error messages should be verified with your ELOG client application provider. If you have received a message that the system is down and your ELOG client application provider has confirmed there is a problem on Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s side, please try transmitting your ELOG again later. If the client was previously told to try again later and it has been 24 hours without being able to complete transmissions (a transmission error message or no transmission response/confirmation), then you should follow the instructions in your licence conditions.

ELOGS Program

Q23. What if I have questions related to the meaning, definition or interpretation of electronic logbook fields?

A23. Included in your client application are instructions from Fisheries and Oceans Canada that will help you in understanding the meaning of the electronic logbook fields. Please refer to these instructions first.

Specific answers will depend on the region that you are fishing out of. For more information, you may call Fisheries and Oceans Canada at 1-877-535-7307 or email fishing-peche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca to ask any of these questions. 

Enforcement Considerations

Q24. If fishery officers ask to see the electronic logbook (ELOG), how do we do this? Do we show them our phone or electronic devices?

A24. Yes, an officer can view the ELOG data that you have collected and the sections that have been closed for the current and for past trips in your client application on your device.

Closing a section will lock the information and enable a view only function. Note that closing a section does not mean that you have submitted your ELOG to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. 

Q25. Once I close a section of my ELOG, can I change it prior to submitting the information to DFO?

A25. No, once a section is closed in the electronic logbook, it cannot be opened to edit again. It can only be viewed. 

Once you have submitted your electronic logbook, you may contact Fisheries and Oceans Canada at 1-877-535-7307 or by email at fishing-peche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca to request a correction to your submitted information. 

Q26. Once I submit my ELOG to DFO, can I change the information if there was an error?

A26. No, once an electronic logbook has been submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, it cannot be retrieved to edit again. The electronic logbook can only be viewed.

Q27. Once I submit the information, it is considered legal by signature?

A27. Yes, once an ELOG is successfully submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, it will be considered official and signed as per your licence conditions. 

Q28. How will ELOGS be reflected in licence conditions?

A28. There will be specific requirements in the licence conditions for those fisheries where ELOGS are applicable. 

Q29. What do I do if the GPS on my electronic logbook device is not working?

A29. You may manually enter coordinates into your electronic logbook; your ELOG client application provider can provide more information on how this can be done. 

Q30. What do I do if my ELOG client application provider cannot help and my ELOG is not working? Can I still go fishing?

A30. The answer depends on your regional licence conditions. You must refer to the specific licence conditions, and if unclear, call 1-877-535-7307 or email fishing-peche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca to confirm what the procedure is in your region. 

Q31. I lost my phone/I forgot my phone/I lost my tablet or other device, can I still go fishing?

A31. The answer depends on which region has issued the licence in question. You may refer to your licence conditions, call 1-877-535-7307 or email fishing-peche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca to confirm what the procedure is in your region.