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
July 17, 2018

The trade war of China and the United States finally exploded on 6 July, when the United States imposed a 25 percent tariff on USD 34 billion (EUR 29 billion) of Chinese exports and China retaliated back with the same tariff rate on the same amount of U.S. imports. 

The stakes were amplified on 11 July when the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced tariffs of 10 percent on USD 200 billion (EUR 170 billion) of food

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Published on
July 16, 2018

Chinese authorities have further upped the ante in the fight against illegal fishing by smashing up vessels found guilty of fishing without a license or without a vessel name or proof of being on a port registry.

Often referred to in official reports as the “three no’s” of Chinese fishing, the transgressions have seen a dozen vessels destroyed by earth-moving machines in a public display in several coastal cities, including

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Published on
July 11, 2018

Steve Trent, the founder and executive director of the Environmental Justice Foundation, has an idea for reducing illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

“Make market entry conditional on unique vessel IDs,” he said at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Barcelona, Spain in June. “Imagine if Barcelona cars had no number plate, it’d be chaos. That’s how it is on the sea.” 

Trent said he believes that

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Published on
July 10, 2018

Patient bankers will be required at one of China’s leading fishing firms, which has been spending rapidly on expansion despite reporting sharp losses for the first quarter of the year. 

In early July, Shanghai Kaichuang Marine International Co. Ltd. purchased a majority stake in Canadian seafood processing firm French Creek Seafood Ltd. for its USD 5.5 million (EUR 4.7 million). But Kaichuang meanwhile had losses of CNY 22.6 million

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Published on
July 9, 2018

The invitations keep coming. The latest missive into SeafoodSource’s inbox -“Spicy shrimp range launched, seeking investment” – came from the “Shi Ke La Xian” brand, which is owned by a Jinan-based firm seeking franchisees to open stores around the country. 

Shi Ke La Xian is yet more proof that China’s food and beverage sector is currently in a state of frenzied growth, with seafood franchises a

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Published on
June 28, 2018

A negative perception of aquaculture is one of the biggest challenges to increasing per capita seafood consumption in North America, according to Bill DiMento, the head of quality assurance and sustainability at High Liner Foods.

Once primarily dependent on Canadian-caught cod for sourcing, that fishery’s closure in 1992 left High Liner with no option but to turn to aquaculture, DiMento said. With that closure set to continue for

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Published on
June 27, 2018

Corruption on a national level is causing serious harm to African fisheries, according to Steve Trent, the founder and executive director of the Environmental Justice Foundation.

Speaking at SeaWeb Seafood Summit in Barcelona, Spain on 20 June, Trent said too many African nations sell fishing rights on the cheap in corrupt, opaque deals. As a result, African fisheries have faced increased pressure from industrial-sized trawlers sucking up fish

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Published on
June 25, 2018

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) is a scourge of the seafood industry and, by some estimates, a trade worth USD 23 billion (EUR 19.7 billion) annually.

But there are increasingly ways of using modern traceability technology to trace IUU culprits and hold them to account through their investors and banks.

The threat of being dropped from a fund – and public reportage of this – is a powerful source of leverage.

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Published on
June 21, 2018

Indonesia is a model that other countries should follow, according to a leading campaigner advocating for the sharing of fishing data to reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. 

By making its vessel monitoring system (VMS) data publicly available, the country has increased transparency, said Tony Long, CEO of Global Fishing Watch, who was speaking at the 2018 SeaWeb Seafood Summit. The Indonesian fisheries ministry, which

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Published on
June 20, 2018

A leading Spanish retailer is seeking collaborators to join it in securing more sustainable seafood. 

Low volume buyers in Spain face challenges in securing sustainable local supply because Spanish producers sell to higher paying markets like Japan and Northern Europe, according to Gorka Azkona, head of the fresh fish buying department at Eroski, a co-operative retailer with 1,650 outlets concentrated on northern

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