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
May 8, 2019

Japan is hoping a new free trade deal with the European Union will increase seafood exports to European markets. Japan wants to reduce the trade deficit, explained Toshiro Shirasu, president of the Japan Fisheries Association, speaking to SeafoodSource at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium.

“The EU ships EUR 450 million [USD 504 million] worth of seafood products to Japan but only buys EUR 50 million [USD 56 million] in

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Published on
May 7, 2019

One of China’s leading tilapia firms is refocusing its long-term strategy toward the domestic market for shrimp.

Hainan Xiangtai Fishery Co. is building shrimp farms in Thailand, and wants to add significantly to its processing operations, company director Liu Rong Jie said while speaking at a government ceremony to acknowledge state labor heroes. 

The company’s Thai project will farm and process 4,000 tons of vannemei shrimp a

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Published on
May 1, 2019

Leading Chinese shrimp exporter Guolian is banking that a new crayfish processing plant will further reduce the company’s reliance on a volatile export market. A new plant in Yiyang, in central China, has commenced shipping to supermarkets and restaurant chains across China. 

Guolian Yiyang Foodstuffs Co. has a processing capacity of 150 tons a day of crayfish and dormitories for 2,000 workers onsite. 

Guolian lifted its

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Published on
April 24, 2019

Fiji Minister of Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau is in Beijing this week seeking assistance from China to develop aquaculture and fisheries processing facilities in the South Pacific island nation. 

Koroilavesau met with his China Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu, whose ministry also oversees fisheries, who guaranteed “high-quality cooperation” in fisheries science and technology as well as

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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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