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 31, 2015

Leading Chinese shrimp exporter Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic is flagging a major drop in revenue for the first half of 2015, which the company is blaming on the cost of adjusting to the domestic market.

Guolian has reported a massive decline of 296.96 to 322.21 percent, or CNY 39 million (USD 6.3 million, EUR 5.7 million) to CNY 44 million (USD 7.1 million, EUR 6.5 million) in money terms, over the same period last year in a note to investors.

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Published on
July 30, 2015

A new trading platform seeking to link China and Southeast Asia's seafood markets has gotten off to a slow start with the first transaction going through recently. A 25-ton batch of Vietnamese frozen Basa filets was sold with much ceremony recently by Fuzhou Anxin to Jian Tong International in Hong Kong.

The deal, done electronically at the China ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] Marine Product Exchange, aims to be the price setter

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Published on
July 28, 2015

Chinese seafood firm Zhangzidao appears to be back in favor with the government and the investment community after the firm received a grant from local authorities to breed new varieties of shellfish.

A grant of CNY 28 million (USD 4.48 million, EUR 4.12 million) was recently given to Zhangzidao (which is also known as Zoneco) by the government of Changhai County near the city of Dalian, where the company is based. This is part of what the firm

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Published on
July 24, 2015

A free trade zone planned for northern China promises locals will be able to purchase Russian salmon at a 30 percent discount to normal prices. Opening in the large city of Harbin, a China-Russia free trade zone is intended to become a hub for sales of high-end Russian foodstuffs such as salmon to domestic Chinese consumers.

Russian salmon and vodka will become cheaper to Chinese consumers who will be allowed to shop in the free trade zone

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Published on
July 23, 2015

Prices paid for seafood continued to soften in the first half of the year according to data released by one of China’s largest seafood wholesale markets.

Data from the Jinan Seafood Market show a fall in prices for shrimp and crab while demand has shifted to mid-priced products such as locally farmed oyster and yellow croaker.

Located in the aquaculture-rich region of Shandong, the Jinan market is a hub for sourcing agents for hoteliers on

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Published on
July 20, 2015

China’s seafood exports fell in the first half of 2015 in value terms and remained largely flat in volume terms, mostly due to a surge in the value of the yuan.

Shipments rose a mere one percent in volume to 1.82 million tons compared to the same period last year but exports dropped two percent in value terms to CNY 56.4 billion (USD 9.02 billion, EUR 7.8 billion), according to data from China’s ministry of commerce. Unconfirmed reports

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Published on
July 16, 2015

Anyone who’s surfed China’s websites will wonder why even the most unlikely seafood products seem to come from France. Vendors on business to consumer (B2C) and Consumer to Consumer (C2C) websites falsely label seafood such as sable fish, cod and salmon (and other food products) as French because of the assumed cachet the French name gives – and the chances to charge premium prices.

Another advertising ruse favored by Chinese seafood

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Published on
July 15, 2015

China's Ministry of Finance (MOF) surprised many last week when it announced a cut to the fuel subsidies China pays its fishing fleet and aquaculture sector. Subsidies will be cut by 40 percent against 2014 levels by 2019, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Agriculture announced in a joint statement.

This is considerable, given China paid CNY 24.2 billion (USD 3.9 billion, EUR 3.38 billion) in fuel subsidies in 2014, according to official

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Published on
July 10, 2015

A price war among processors is being blamed for low farm-gate prices for tilapia this summer with producers and agents in Guangdong province claiming that prices are down to RMB 7 (USD 1.12, EUR 1) per kilo compared to RMB 10 (USD 1.60/kg, EUR 1.44) paid at this time last year.

Severe overcapacity in the tilapia processing sector has led processing firms to compete for orders by undercutting each other. That’s according to a tilapia

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Published on
July 2, 2015

Chinese consumers of food have had plenty of reasons to reach for the sick bucket in recent years, but disgusting examples of food safety transgressions keep coming.

This week global media outlets picked up on revelations of 40-year old frozen beef resold to consumers by traders in China, where prices and sales of red meat and expensive seafood are both climbing. But there was also the revelation on Chinese TV of dead crabs and crawfish being

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