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
April 23, 2019

In recent years, the Norwegian Seafood Council worked to create high-end branding for Norwegian salmon and “Arctic cod” in China, allowing Norwegian exports to earn premium prices in upmarket Chinese retail and foodservice outlets. NSC China Director Victoria Braathen spoke with SeafoodSource about the organization’s current and future efforts in China.

SeafoodSource: What are your priorities for 2019 in terms of your marketing

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Published on
April 16, 2019

Last month, a Chinese-operated longline fishery in the Federated States of Micronesia became the first fishery to achieve Marine Stewardship Council certification for a bigeye tuna fishery. The fishery, owned by three interconnected Chinese fishing companies, Liancheng Overseas Fishery (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. (SZLC), China Southern Fishery Shenzhen Co. Ltd. (CSFC) and Liancheng Overseas Fishery (FSM) Co. Ltd. (FZLC), previously achieved MSC

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Published on
April 11, 2019

A recently published report has pointed out numerous problems with China’s seafood processing sector, highlighted by labor shortages, low technical capacity, rising costs, and not enough spending on research and development. 

China’s seafood processors are living on borrowed time, according to the report, which was published by the China Industrial Research Network, an economic research agency. The sector looks strong owing

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Published on
April 5, 2019

A tech-focused start-up in Ningbo is the latest in China showing the potential of big data and artificial intelligence to modernize the country’s aquaculture sector.

An imaging system for counting fish in aquaculture ponds, developed by Ningbo Zhizhe Information Technology Co. (the word Zhizhe stands for intelligence equipment or information tools), can calculate a fish count in five seconds, according to company CEO Wu Zhengguan.

The

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Published on
April 1, 2019

Seafood seems to be way down the list of sectors attracting investors in China, as agriculture and fisheries investments accounted for just 1 percent of the USD 377 billion (EUR 335.5 billion) invested in 1,866 deals monitored by leading international mergers and acquisitions watchers Mergermarket and Merrill DatasiteOne.

Industries and chemicals accounted for 19 percent of deals in value and 24 percent in volume, topping the list of categories

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Published on
March 29, 2019

China has dismissed a request from the Vietnamese government for USD 130,000 (EUR 116,000) compensation for the sinking of a Vietnamese trawler in disputed waters of the South China Sea, claiming instead that the vessel was guilty of “illegal fishing” and was sunk before a Chinese vessel reached the scene. 

The Vietnam Fisheries Association, a state sponsored body, wants USD 130,000 paid to the owners of a trawler sunk at the

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Published on
March 28, 2019

A major Africa-focused Chinese trading and construction company has branched into fisheries in Angola. 

The head office of Qingdao You Xing Group subsidiary Shi Hao Fishing Co, also known as Seahawk Pescas, was visited recently by Angolan Fisheries Minister Maria Antonieta Baptista. The minister met company executives to discuss expansion plans at Seahawk Pescas’ base in Lobitos city in the Benguela Province of Angola. 

During

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Published on
March 28, 2019

The pressure is on this month as negotiators seek to find common ground and to advance the cause of a World Trade Organization agreement on fishery subsidies by the end of the year. 

The WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo has said subsidies by member states for fuel have contributed to overfishing, and illegal and unregulated fishing. He called it "one of the important issues of our time.” 

An estimated USD 20 billion

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Published on
March 27, 2019

China’s seafood processing and distribution businesses could be in for a lift next week when a new value added tax (VAT) reduction kicks in. As part of a CNY 2 trillion (USD 297.3 billion, EUR 264.2 billion) tax cut stimulus package, China’s government is cutting the VAT rate for processing companies from 16 percent to 13 percent, effective 1 April. 

Meanwhile, there’s been a cut in VAT taxes on sales of seafood products

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Published on
March 26, 2019

Offshore aquaculture installations have become increasingly popular in China as coastal regions shift fish farms out of environmentally challenged on-land sites. But the offshore platforms are also proving popular in one city for another economic driver – tourism.

Tourists visiting aquaculture farms off the coast of Rongcheng in Shandong Province pay to take boat being out to distinctive yellow platforms where fish are being raised in

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