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
September 26, 2022

Conservation measures on Spanish mackerel introduced by an Australian state strike the right balance between conservation and economics, according to Victoria, Australia-based fisheries consultant Anthony Ciconte.

The new rules, introduced by Queensland Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Department for Queensland’s East Coast fishery, will come into effect October 2022 and will result in commercial catches being limited to 165

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Published on
September 26, 2022

A new labeling requirement for foreign food imports by China continues to create difficulties for foreign exporters, and a lack of transparency from Chinese customs authorities is complicating matters, according to a new policy document from the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.

Chinese Customs Decrees 248 and 249, implemented at the beginning of this year, requires food imported into China to have Chinese-language labeling and

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Published on
September 23, 2022

The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen is offering generous subsidies for tuna-vessel purchases and catch returns.

The city will reimburse local fishing companies up to 30 percent of the cost of a ... 

Photo courtesy of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural

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Published on
September 22, 2022

Ecuador hopes to sign a free trade agreement with China by December, even as the country has just secured a USD 1.5 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) restructuring of debt owed to Chinese banks.

Rumors of a bilateral trade deal have been floated throughout 2022, but Ecuador’s commitment to signing a FTA with China was confirmed by Ecuador Production, Trade, and Investments Minister Julio Jose Prado on 17 August, 2022, and

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Published on
September 21, 2022

An ambitious subsidy program announced by the southern city of Shenzhen aims to increase the efficiency of China’s aquaculture industry by improving local larvae quality and breeding efficiency through improved genetics and the use of artificial intelligence.

The Shenzhen Municipal Fishery Modernisation Investment Measures Program will provide subsidies worth up to CNY 30 million (USD 4.2 million, EUR 4.2 million) to local firms working

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Published on
September 21, 2022

Increasingly sophisticated satellite systems are making life much harder for vessels perpetrating illegal fishing, according to Starboard Maritime Intelligence, a New Zealand-based satellite firm.

Starboard recently contributed to a Uruguayan investigation of a Chinese vessel, the Lu Rong Yuan Yu 606, detained for allegedly squid jigging in Uruguay’s exclusive economic zone.

Starboard has come up with a system of tracking and displaying

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Published on
September 19, 2022

The Irish Fish Producers Organisation is fighting back against what it deems to be unfair treatment by the European Union, Norway, and the Irish government.

Facing what it says is a 30 percent decline in catches post-Brexit, IFPO wants government to use “innovative ways” to increase the national fishing quotas allotted to Ireland by the E.U. These include negotiating long-term leases on valuable quotas from other E.U. members like

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Published on
September 15, 2022

Premium prices being paid by Chinese consumers for krill-based health products suggest strong revenue growth for Oslo, Norway-based Aker BioMarine, which increased its krill meal output by 13 percent to 39,000 metric tons in the first half of 2022.

Imported jars of Aker’s Superba brand krill oil capsules – each with 60 capsules and English-language labeling – are selling for CNY 772 (USD 110.92, EUR 111.06) on JD.com, one of

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Published on
September 15, 2022

A Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) fishery in China that has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council has come under criticism from a marine biologist who claims the clams are raised via aquaculture.

The launch in Chinese Sam’s Club outlets of a range of products made with the clams, packaged by Dandong Taihong Food Co., part of the Taihong Food Group, has been hailed by both MSC and the China Aquatic Products Processing and

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Published on
September 14, 2022

Climate change is reducing fishery stocks internationally, but the situation is reversible with better governance, according to a spokesman for the Taiwanese tuna-fishing industry.

“The catch is decreasing [globally], a phenomenon that can be seen continuously in recent years, including Taiwan. There are many reasons, but I think the climate change factor is starting to become apparent.” Taiwan Tuna Association Manager Tony Lin told

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