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 4, 2015

Wu Hougang, chairman of Zhangzidao, this spring promised to investors to work for CNY 1 per month until his company returns to revenue level “pre calamity.” He’s referring of course to the collapse in profit last year after what the firm said was a disastrous slump in its aquaculture output. Wu has also promised an improvement in transparency and “risk control capacity” at the firm.

The timing of the profits collapse at Zhangzidao

Read More
Published on
April 30, 2015

Weak overseas demand and a collapse in “traditional competitive advantages” have been blamed for a downturn in seafood exports from one of China’s key export regions. According to the local bureau of the Ocean and Fisheries Bureau, shipments from Shandong province fell 8.6 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year to 220,000 metric tons (MT), slipping 8.3 percent in money terms to USD 970 million (EUR 883

Read More
Published on
April 29, 2015

China’s top seafood trading port is building a giant park for online sales of seafood to the domestic market. In a move that could reduce the amount of supply for export as well as dependency on the export-focused processing sector, Qingdao city is building an industrial park that will house processing, training and logistics facilities for the seafood trade.

The Qingdao International Marine Industry Park is a flagship project for Qingdao New

Read More
Published on
April 20, 2015

There are clear signs that a tightening local supply of wild-caught fish is driving up prices and demand in China for species to replace local favorites like croaker, pomfret and flounder.

A shortage of fish in the East China Sea has worsened, according to officials at the Zhejiang Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Association (ZAPPMA), a trade body representing seafood producers in Zhejiang province. “We don’t have the supply and

Read More
Published on
April 17, 2015

 

CNFC Overseas Fishery Co., Ltd., the listed arm of China National Fisheries Co., has pledged to increase its acquisitions of overseas fishing companies to reboot the firm’s fortunes after profits nosedived in 2014. Revenue came to CNY 378.7 million (USD60.5; EUR 56.7 million), up 27.9 percent year on year. But profits fell 64 percent to CNY 20.09 million (USD3.21 million; EUR 3.01 million) with the state-controlled giant blaming a 14

Read More
Published on
April 9, 2015

Prices for tilapia from China increased in 2014 even as volumes exported slipped – but cheaper catfish is pushing tilapia out of the EU market. And a stronger dollar means the United States is back in favor as a market for Hainan, one of China’s key tilapia producing regions.

Tilapia exporters in Hainan province, however, are concerned about a tightening of U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) inspections for residues of

Read More
Published on
April 6, 2015

China’s top planners and fishery officials want to increase the country’s earnings from the seas, even though the nation’s waterways and oceans are damaged perhaps beyond repair. Phrases like “marine economy,” “blue economy” and “ocean granary” have all become fashionable among the Chinese bureaucrats who oversee major fishing ports and processing hubs like Dalian and Qingdao.

There is a glaring conflict of ambitions here,

Read More
Published on
April 2, 2015

Ireland has gone the direct route to Chinese seafood sales by bringing a large delegation of Chinese buyers to Ireland for a tour of production facilities and waters as well as a day of prearranged meetings with Irish seafood suppliers.

“According to our colleagues who accompanied the buyers on their itineraries they were mostly interested in live and processed brown crab, oysters, prawns and razor clams,” according to Karen Spellman at

Read More
Published on
April 2, 2015

A senior Chinese official has vowed to “break the long-established monopoly of developed countries” and make China the world’s top fisher of the high seas.

China will continue to invest in its long-distance fishing fleet and fishing equipment in order to increase the nation’s access to and extraction of fisheries resources on the high seas, said Yu Kangzhen, China’s vice minister for agriculture with responsibility for fisheries. He

Read More
Published on
March 31, 2015

China took another step towards consolidating its hold on Russian fisheries with the launch of the first in a batch of vessels built to fish Russia’s far eastern waters.

Chinese and Russian officials toasted the launch of two vessels, the Xiang Hailin 7 and the Xiang Hailin 8, which were launched recently at the Binhai shipyard in the coastal city of Lushun. Even though the vessels are painted in the colours of the Russian flag and are

Read More