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, 2020

May Day may be a traditional Chinese holiday to mark global proletarian solidarity, but it’s also become an important date for the country’s seafood traders and importers. The first of May is the day that the country’s domestic waters are closed to fishing until 1 September.

The annual moratorium, enforced more zealously every year, has led to a surge in demand for replacements for favorites like croaker, ribbonfish, mackerel,

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Published on
May 6, 2020

A wave of new licenses allowing Chinese vessels into Senegalese waters will “annihilate” the country’s efforts to get its fisheries on a sustainable footing, according to a group representing local small-scale fishermen.

The Senegalese organization Groupement des Armateurs et Industriels de la Pêche au Senegal (GAIPES) is fighting a campaign to block the licensing of 53 trawlers – most of them Chinese-owned –

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Published on
May 4, 2020

Shanghai-based online retailer Gfresh experienced a “significant impact” to its sales of imported seafood when China went into lockdown, according to CEO Anthony Wan ... 

Photo courtesy of

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Published on
May 4, 2020

China’s seafood imports may have dropped by nearly 28 percent in the first quarter of 2020, but they will recover by the end of the year, according to veteran importer and marketing consultant Fan Xubing, head of Beijing-based consultancy Seabridge ... 

Photo courtesy of Endless

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Published on
May 1, 2020

The deadline for a World Trade Organization (WTO) deal on fishing subsidies was recently extended due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions that impeded negotiations. However, delegates have been mulling an Indian proposal that would grant developing countries the right to subsidize their fleets, with the definition of “developing country” based on average per capita gross national income and their take of the global wild catch.

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Published on
April 30, 2020

A subsidiary of a major Chinese fishing group has donated a consignment of medical face masks to Iran, as Iranian fishermen and legislators are calling for a tougher approach to vessels from China.

The boss of Shenzhen Shui Wan Distant Water Fishing Co., a subsidiary of the Guangdong Shunxin Marine Fishery Group Co., visited the Guangzhou consulate of the Islamic Republic recently to donate 20,000 face masks. The donation, which was packaged in

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Published on
April 29, 2020

Argentina’s Fisheries Ministry has approached the Chinese embassy with a complaint about a Chinese squid-jigger illegally operating in Argentina’s exclusive economic zone.

The move comes as China has drafted what it promises is a tighter new regime to monitor its Chinese squid vessels.

The vessel, the Lu Rong Yuan Yu 688, was confronted earlier this week by the Argentine coast guard, but the crew turned off its fishing lights, pulled

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Published on
April 29, 2020

Even as a Mauritanian parliament committee investigates a controversial 2010 deal with a Chinese company, a fishing firm from the West African nation is seeking investors for a new venture focusing on pelagic species.

Mauritania’s parliament has organized a committee to investigate deals signed by former President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, including a 2010 agreement with a Chinese firm for access to Mauritanian waters. The firm, Fuzhou

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Published on
April 28, 2020

Historical subsidization of the fleets of developed countries have become a stumbling block for Chinese negotiators during World Trade Organization talks on ending harmful fishery subsidies.

The talks have dragged into 2020 despite an effort by negotiators to culminate a deal by the end of 2019, and have been further delayed due to complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A document written by researchers working on the rural economy

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Published on
April 28, 2020

A fast-growing Chinese seafood restaurant chain has pledged to sign on to Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) criteria in sourcing pangasius and other seafood for its outlets.

The Bantianyao chain has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), which operates the BAP certification program.

The emergence of youth-focused casual dining chains like Baitianyao has been a major driver of China’s imports of

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