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 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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Published on
December 10, 2018

Lukas Manomaitis is the managing director of Thailand-based Seafood Consulting Associates, a specialist consulting firm formed in 2001. 

Manomaitis recently completed a research project for the U.S. Soybean Export Council looking into the potential for aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa. He found that aquaculture output in the region will double by 2023.

Manomaitis told SeafoodSource he believes Africa will become a significant supplier of

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Published on
December 4, 2018

Panama looks set to drastically increase its seafood exports to China as the two countries move to complete a free trade deal.

Panamanian seafood executives and officials met last week in Panama City to study the remaining market entry requirements that need to be signed before exports can be expanded. Panama wants to increase shipments of fruit, vegetables, and seafood to China, according to Gustavo Fadul, a senior official in Panama’s

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Published on
November 29, 2018

Even though Chinese demand for seafood continues to rise, there appears to be a major disconnect between the performance of China’s leading seafood firms and the prices of their public shares, suggesting a lack of investor confidence. 

For the first three quarters of 2018, revenue at Zoneco (Zhangzidao) totalled CNY 2.1 billion (USD 302 million, EUR 266 million), up 9.42 percent year-on-year. However, its profits – at CNY 23.38

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Published on
November 29, 2018

China’s fishing industry has celebrated the landing at a port in Shenzhen of its first haul of seafood caught in Mozambique.

The return to port of six vessels owned by the Yu Yi Industry Co. – carrying 359 tons of crustaceans and fish – was marked with a major ceremony overseen by corporate executives and Communist Party officials.

The Shenzhen festivities showcase the prominent role of government in expanding China’s

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Published on
November 23, 2018

Fishing firms and processors met with representatives from 15 countries at an event organized by local government and fishing industry representatives in southeast China.  

The Ocean Summit at “World Ocean Week” in Xiamen saw officials and executives from Africa and Asia meet with fishing executives in the Fujian region, which is a hub for China’s distant-water fleet. 

As part of the summit, the

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