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
January 21, 2019

A new body has been set up in China to harness big data and artificial intelligence to modernize the country’s aquaculture and wild-catch fisheries. 

The China Intelligent Fisheries Association was created recently as a sub-group of the China Fisheries Association (CFA) to bring data specialists, fishing companies, and government officials together to harness data to improve management in both catch and farmed fisheries. 

Xie

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Published on
January 21, 2019

Negotiations amongst World Trade Organization member nations over the elimination of fisheries subsidies have intensified, according to a WTO announcement made at the tail end of 2018. WTO member states face a mandate of achieving an agreement by the end of 2019, in time to announce the agreement at the 2020 Ministerial Conference in Kazakhstan. 

One of the linchpins of any deal will be China, the world’s biggest fishing country by

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Published on
January 15, 2019

China’s central government spent CNY 200 million (USD 29.6 million, EUR 25.8 million) to promote “deep-sea” aquaculture in 2018 in eight provinces. 

The central government will spend an additional CNY 1.69 billion (USD 250 million, EUR 218 million) between 2015 and 2019 on “ocean pastures” (also translated as “sea ranches”) for aquaculture, according to a Ministry of Agriculture document summarizing

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Published on
January 11, 2019

Xuefeng Han is the secretary-general of the Hainan Tilapia Sustainability Alliance, an industry-led initiative to promote sustainable tilapia production in Hainan, a southern island province in China and one of the country’s top three tilapia-producing regions. Han’s organization is pushing for a transformation of China’s tilapia sector into more sustainable, higher-value production, a major component of which is encouraging

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Published on
January 7, 2019

Exports have hit an all-time high at one of China’s leading distant-water ports, which is reporting strong growth in exports of processed products to developing countries – which in many cases are also the focus of China’s distant water fleets. 

In the first 10 months of 2018, the port city of Quanzhou shipped 140,140 metric tons worth USD 408 million (EUR 355.5 million), figures that are up 42.1 percent and 50.9 percent,

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Published on
January 4, 2019

Yu Kangzhen, China’s vice minister for agriculture with responsibility for fisheries, has been encouraging China’s distant-water fishing companies to increase their efforts, while promoting large infrastructure projects at home to handle the growing volume of total catch.

Yu recently visited and inspected plans for the Zhoushan National Distant-Water Fishery Base, a 6.2 square-kilometer site that local officials and industry

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Published on
January 3, 2019

There’s a lot of data being quoted recently by China’s government to show that these are prosperous times for China’s fishermen and fish farmers. 

A perusal of several past editions of the Fisheries Yearbook, an annual overview of the state of the industry produced by the Ministry of Agriculture, shows there has been a 41 percent increase in the average earnings of workers in the sector over four years.

But incomes remain

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Published on
January 2, 2019

It looks as though China is heading for the first contraction in seafood output in years. 

The country is reporting output of 53.75 million tons for the first 11 months of 2018, down 1.01 percent year-on-year, according to data published by China's Agriculture Ministry in Beijing, which also oversees fisheries. 

China’s total of caught seafood in the first 11 months of 2018 dropped 5.61 percent to 11.4 million tons, in part

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Published on
December 19, 2018

A newly formed industry body aims to encourage more sustainable practices in Hong Kong’s thriving seafood sector. 

The Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition was formed in December 2018 promote the consumption of responsibly sourced marine species. The new organization, which is modeled on the Sustainable Seafood Coalition in the United Kingdom, seeks to bring together seafood distributors, caterers, and retailers “to promote

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Published on
December 13, 2018

China will ultimately be “the formulator” of the global rules on international fishing, Liu Zhong Xin, the deputy head of the Fisheries Management Bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture said recently in an interview with the Beijing-based Global Times.

In the interview, which was part of an extensive article on the prospects for China’s distant water-fishing industry, Liu said he sees China’s dominance of global

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