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
March 11, 2019

The social media app WeChat (also known as Weixin) has proven vital in tracking and prosecuting a gang illegally catching sea cucumber and sea horses off the Italian coast for the Chinese market.

Authorities in the port town of Taranto arrested a group of Chinese nationals on suspicion of smuggling dried sea cucumbers and sea horses to Hong Kong and mainland China. Police were aable to charge the gang by examining a chain of messages on the

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Published on
March 5, 2019

China’s per capita seafood consumption data looks overstated and has huge space to grow, according to a Guangdong feed firm aiming to attract more firms to switch into the aquaculture sector.

Chinese seafood consumption stands at 11.4 kilograms per capita, well below a global average of 20 kilograms per capita, Guangdong Lian Kun Group, a producer of feed for aquaculture and white meat, wrote in a document circulated recently to

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Published on
March 4, 2019

A ship belonging to the Argentine coast guard shot at a Chinese fishing vessel it claims was fishing illegally within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

On 2 March, the coast guard cutter, the Mantilla, fired warning shots at the Hua Xiang 801, a 72-meter Chinese-flagged trawler, which Argentina claimed did not have its Automatic Identification System (AIS) turned on while fishing for squid around one kilometer inside Argentina’s

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Published on
February 26, 2019

One of China’s largest and most inward cities, Lanzhou, is the latest to get an air cargo link to fly seafood from Southeast Asia. As China negotiates an end to trade tensions with the U.S. it has also been busily opening up new seafood trading routes and supply lines under its “One Belt, One Road” (also known as the New Silk Road) blueprint for opening up trade through new transport routes. 

Not long ago, seafood imports

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Published on
February 22, 2019

China’s government has set an ambitious target to sharply increase consumption of seafood by the Chinese populace over the next 10 years. 

In its "2018-2027 Outlook for Agriculture,” China’s Agriculture Ministry, which oversees fisheries, projects the consumption of aquatic products will increase to 25 kilograms per capita overall, with the figure rising to 30 kilograms per capita in urban areas. The ministry report

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Published on
February 19, 2019

A seafood-related uproar has dominated Kenyan media in the past month, with local fisheries industry representatives expressing anger over cheap Chinese imports.

According to fishing leaders including Mohamed Somo, chair of the Lamu Co. Beach Management Units, the industry is calling for protection from Chinese imports, and for greater investment in the domestic fishing sector, with calls growing particularly vociferous for more and better

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Published on
February 14, 2019

A new venture between a retailing giant and a tech-focused retail brand is targeting once-remote northwest China with high-end imported seafood.

“Mo Er Xian Sheng” is a tie-up between one of China’s largest retailers, the Beijing Hualian Group, and Jiangsu Mo Er Commerce Management Co. (part of the Jiangsu Overseas Group Corp, which has a large international trading business).

The first Mo Er Xian Sheng store opened in Zhong Fa

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Published on
February 11, 2019

Chinese authorities are touting their latest prize in an intensification of their ongoing crackdown in illegal seafood-related operations.

The arrest of a smuggling gang accused of bringing CNY 2.6 billion (USD 385.5 million, EUR 340.3 million) worth of frozen seafood clandestinely across the border from Vietnam over a three-year period was announced in prime-time coverage across regional and national television channels in

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Published on
February 7, 2019

China’s infrastructure investments in Pakistan are opening up the local fisheries sector on the Arabian Sea, with a major Chinese power station builder completing a fishing port as a “gift” to local people. 

State-owned China State Power Investment Corp., which is building several power plants in Pakistan, said a new fishing port in Lasbela region on the Arabian Sea would aid the economy and increase the efficiency of the

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Published on
February 5, 2019

As Chinese New Year approaches, the dining halls of China’s Agriculture Ministry in the central Beijing district of Tuanjiehu get busy with well-wishers from various embassies dropping in with seasonal gifts or for banquets with officials.

Emissaries in Beijing have been beating a path to the fisheries section at the Agriculture Ministry to greet fisheries officials who maintain relations with counterparts in most countries on the

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