Mark Godfrey

Contributing Editor

Mark Godfrey is an Irish journalist covering the agriculture and fisheries sectors in Asia, with a focus on China. Proficient in Mandarin, he has frequently traveled across China's fisheries and aquaculture regions and learned the inner workings of China's corporate world during a nearly three-year stint at the Financial Times' “China Confidential” publication. He has also reported widely across Southeast Asia and the former Soviet Union. He has educational certificates in agriculture and food science, as well as Mandarin.

Published on
August 21, 2019

China is launching a new testing kit to detect histamine in seafood.

Xiamen Food and Drug Quality Inspection Institute has come up with the testing method that has been approved by the State Administration for Market Regulation, China’s powerful state quality inspection agency.

Histamine poisoning, also known as scombrotoxin fish poisoning, occurs after eating fish that weren't kept at safe temperatures and spoiled.

The new “rapid

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Published on
August 16, 2019

The Marine Stewardship Council recently launched the annual Sustainable Seafood Week in China, which will feature customer education campaigns in supermarkets across the country. 

Liu Jun, head of seafood sourcing at CRV-Olé, an upmarket Chinese supermarket chain and part of the China Resources Vanguard Group, a key state-owned retail conglomerate, talked to SeafoodSource about her company’s decision to involve itself in the

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Published on
August 15, 2019

The increased presence of large agricultural conglomerates entering the aquaculture insurance market in China is reshaping the sector as it comes to terms with recent storm damage from Typhoon Lekima, which crashed into China’s east coast last week.

China has struggled to extend insurance cover to the aquaculture sector, with major insurers – most of them state-owned – shying away from the sector due to an inability to price

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Published on
August 15, 2019

A battle for China’s middle-income customers is proving hard work for food processor Haixin Foods Co Ltd., which saw revenues up 18 percent in the first half of 2019, thanks to demand for frozen convenience seafood products. 

Listed on the Shanghai Stock Market, Fujian, China-based Haixin scored sales of CNY 542 million (USD 76.8 million, EUR 69.3 million) in the first half of 2019, with seafood accounting for CNY 399 million (USD

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Published on
August 14, 2019

It is difficult to keep up with the pace and the scale of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s foreign policy blueprint of integrating regional and Middle Eastern countries into its economy through new infrastructure.

Originally known as “One Belt, One Road,” China has steadily refined its plans since they were announced, and now the Council on Foreign Relations has described it as “the most ambitious

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Published on
August 9, 2019

A Chinese fishing firm is edging towards a deal to allow it access to the waters off Papua New Guinea with six large fishing vessels. The fleet is set to sail after a team of eight officials from the Pacific island state visited the company at its home port in Zhejiang Province.

The officials inspected safety and tracking devices aboard six vessels of the Wenzhou Da Zhou Distant Water Fishing Co. They were accompanied by company executives and

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Published on
August 6, 2019

This week, for the first time in over a decade, China’s currency fell below the psychologically important exchange rate of CNY 7.00 (USD 1.00, EUR 0.89) per U.S. dollar.

The news-making milestone will add to the pessimism in many Chinese boardrooms this summer over the long-term prospects for the country’s economy as the dispute between China and its largest customer – the United States – continues. 

The China-U.S.

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Published on
August 2, 2019

One lesser-known impact of the trade war between the United States and China is the abrupt end to reform of China’s seafood and soy trading system, which had been underway as part of a package that would also address the country’s underperforming commodities exchanges.

In the past decade, there has been discussion in China in favor of dismantling the system of state supports for the grain and oilseed sector so that prices come into

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Published on
August 2, 2019

A town billing itself as “China’s Sturgeon Capital” is increasing production on the back of a state bank loan and a donation from China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba. 

The Agricultural Development Bank, a leading state-owned bank, has put CNY 47 million (USD 6.8 million, EUR 6.1 million) in financing a government-orchestrated project to increase sturgeon production in Heilongjiang Province, near the Russian

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Published on
July 26, 2019

China has clearly set out its ambition for increasing its fishing effort in African waters with the new designation of its third national-level distant-water processing hub. 

The Fuzhou Lianjiang County International Fishery Base in Fujian Province encompasses the Mawei port, which has long been the base for the 600 distant water-vessels registered in the Fuzhou city limits and which have extensive operations in Africa. 

The

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