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
September 30, 2014

Mainland China will ultimately seek to shift some of its aquaculture away from tilapia to more high-value species, according to a senior fisheries expert in Taiwan, traditionally the source of much of mainland Chinese aquaculture investment and know-how.

A shift in species will see mainland China following a trend already set in Taiwan, with tilapia producers for instance shifting from tilapia to increased volumes of grouper and cobia, predicts

Read More
Published on
September 19, 2014

Norway’s salmon exporters may be faced with yet another restriction on access to China but retailers and wet market traders in Beijing say sales of salmon grew by 10 to 20 percent per month this summer.

Media has reported that China is banning imports of whole salmon (as opposed to filets) from Norway, but the country’s main export body claims there have been no new Chinese bans. “We at the Norwegian Seafood Council are not aware of any

Read More
Published on
September 18, 2014

More fishermen are likely to say no to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) labeling unless the certification body reduces fees and also puts equal emphasis on economic and social sustainability. That’s according to a representative of a major Belgian fish exporter, who also called for retailers and the foodservice industry to pay their share of certification costs.

Retailers are keen to have MSC product “but they don’t want to pay for it,

Read More
Published on
September 12, 2014

The U.K. seafood industry is stepping up efforts to find replacement markets for Russia, with seafood companies hopeful that Asia will take up the slack. That’s according to Malcolm Lange, head of international markets research at Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish), the industry body backed by the British government.

“It will take a year to see the real effect of the Russian ban,” said Lange, who was speaking at Seafood Expo Asia that

Read More
Published on
September 11, 2014

A lack of funding for government agencies monitoring fish catches is one of the biggest challenges to sustainability of the seafood industry — that’s according to an industry panel at the recent Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong, which also called for a refocus on fishermen’s livelihoods as well as education of consumers.

One U.S. seafood veteran said he worries about resourcing of fisheries monitoring authorities in the U.S and elsewhere.

Read More
Published on
September 9, 2014

Greece wants to tap growing Chinese demand for premium fish to drive sales for its sea bass and sea bream in Asia’s biggest economy.

A first-time Greek national pavilion at this year’s Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong is part of an effort to enter the premium hotel market here, said Yannis Pelekanakis, general manager of the Federation of Greek Maricultures. “It’s the first time we’re here as a federation…we have been looking at fish

Read More
Published on
September 4, 2014

Seafood exporters are eager to pick up clients in Russia while the ban on western seafood remains in place. Meeting Russian clients was a priority for several firms at the Asia seafood expo in Hong Kong, among them two tuna canners from Maldives, Horizon Fisheries and Mifco.

“We believe the Russian ban on western imports gives us a good opportunity and we met some potential Russian customers here at the fair,” said Mitrah Naseem,

Read More
Published on
September 4, 2014

Argentina is expecting “a lot more” investment from China in its fishing companies, according to an official from the country’s fisheries ministry.

Chinese investment is “very good” for Argentina, according to Pablo Andres Drach, a spokesman for the fisheries sub-secretariat at the Argentine agricultural ministry. “They [Chinese] see they can work with us. We need more investment in our fisheries.” Drach believes the investment

Read More
Published on
September 4, 2014

Norway’s seafood export promotion agency is seeing new consumption channels emerging in the Chinese salmon market, including increased consumption at Chinese restaurants that are increasingly serving sashimi as a starter.

“Typically they [Chinese restaurants] serve sashimi with salmon only,” said Sigmund Bjorgo, head of China operations at the Norwegian Seafood Export Council. The growth of China’s Japanese-style restaurant scene is

Read More
Published on
September 3, 2014

One of China’s key aquaculture regions is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years and water experts are predicting straitened times ahead for water-dependent industries like aquaculture and fisheries, threatening China’s ability to increase output.

Home to the key processing/export hub of Dalian, Liaoning is one of what’s termed China’s “dry 11” provinces by Feng Hu, head of research at China Water Risk, a non-profit body

Read More