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
April 2, 2014

Officials in a top seafood-producing region are attempting to reboot the sector by unblocking a shortage of credit that has long been blamed for restraining the largely privately run seafood sector.

Home to the processing hubs of Qingdao and Yantai, the province of Shandong has announced that a state-owned bank is pioneering a new finance model for the seafood sector to tackle a credit shortage which provincial government blames for “blocking

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Published on
March 31, 2014

Anyone taking a cab to the airport in Dalian, Qingdao or Yantai will encounter waves of beach-side apartments as real estate and tourism have combined to annex much of the country’s coastline. The situation is far more intense in tropical Hainan, the country’s leading tilapia producing region (and ‘China’s Hawaii,’ as the local slogan goes) and the Bohai region encompassing Shandong, a key fisheries region. More than 80 percent of the

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Published on
March 31, 2014
It's not on everyone's investment list but North Korea is being touted as a major strategic advantage by Chinese processors keen to access the country's seafood and uncongested ports. Seafood processors have linked with government officials in Hunchun, a Chinese city on the borders of both North Korea and Russia, to coax investors in seafood processing into the region, highlighting low costs and access to North Korean ports and fishery resources… Read More
Published on
March 26, 2014

China’s seafood exports appear to have softened in the first two months of the year, mirroring a weakening of the country’s overall exports sector. China shipped 550,000 metric tons (MT) of aquatic products worth USD 2.98 billion (EUR 2.2 billion), in January and February combined, down 7.9 percent and 9.1 percent respectively.

That’s according to data from the country’s customs authorities, which also reported that China’s overall

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Published on
March 21, 2014

The year of the horse is shaping up to be a year of reforms that could have a big impact on China’s aquaculture output. Real changes in currency, financing and access to land are appearing as China puts detail and shape to a package of economic reforms sketched out at last November’s crunch plenum of the Communist Party leadership. That much-hyped meeting in Beijing produced a commitment to let the market (rather than state bureaucrats) have

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Published on
March 13, 2014

China’s leading tilapia producing region will meet with global retailers in Boston next week hoping to secure higher prices or long-term supply contracts to reward more environmentally-responsible tilapia cultivation.

The Hainan Tilapia Sustainability Alliance will meet with major discount retailers in Germany as well as a leading U.S. retailer with global reach, according to Han Han, the Hainan-based country manager for the Sustainable

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Published on
March 11, 2014

Norway’s sales of salmon in China fell 32 percent in volume to 8,597 metric tons (MT) (fresh and frozen) while value stayed flat thanks to a strong increase in Chinese prices in 2013.

Norway’s overall seafood exports to China rose 5 percent in volume to 164,000 MT, rising 15 percent in value, according to Sigmund Bjorgo, China head of the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC). Salmon prices in China have grown more strongly that elsewhere, said

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Published on
March 6, 2014
Agrimarine, a Canadian salmon firm with Pacific salmon farms in China, has decided to focus on sales of live fish in the country's northern provinces. The firm was unable to supply the volumes sought by Japanese retailer Ito Yokado and now sell to wholesale markets in cities Dalian and Shenyang, near its aquaculture base in northeast China, according to the company's former CEO and head of operations here Richard Buchanan.

Significantly, the firm
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Published on
March 3, 2014

The growing dynamics of rising domestic consumption across Asia and a shortage of land in China will see a growing role for third parties like Ecuador and India in supplying world shrimp demand.

“Growth in Chinese domestic consumption of shrimp is out-pacing all other markets,” according to seafood veteran Didier Boon, head of Beijing-based East China Seas. Likewise, he said, the shift of large Thai shrimp producers away from farming into

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Published on
February 27, 2014

China’s seafood exporters are hopeful that strong growth has returned to the Western export markets, after strong data was published for January by a bellwether seafood processing and production region. The southeasterly province of Shandong in January shipped 236,000 metric tons (MT) of seafood worth USD 760 million (EUR 555.7 million) — an increase of 6.2 percent and 12.3 percent respectively.

The strongest growth however was recorded for

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