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 13, 2016

There has been a strong year-on-year rise in shrimp prices thus far in 2016 in China, with data from wholesale markets published by the country’s Agriculture Ministry showing higher prices in the four main shrimp regions in the first quarter of the year.

The average price for 40 head of shrimp in the Pearl River Delta (which includes Guangzhou and Shenzhen) is hitting CNY 44 (USD 6.60, EUR 6.02) per 500 grams, up from a top rate of CNY 39

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Published on
April 12, 2016

Growing demand for seafood in China is coming up against a wall of environmental problems that are holding back domestic production, opening the door for imports into the world’s largest economy.

In March, Chinese Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said that “the increase in China’s seafood output has come at the expense of the country’s natural environment.” Han suggested the carrying capacity of China’s environment has been

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Published on
April 11, 2016

China's national currency, the yuan (also known as the renminbi or RMB), is appreciating against the dollar, forcing Chinese seafood vendors into taking a second look at the country's domestic markets.

The yuan appreciated 1.5 percent against the dollar in March, which has changed market sentiment to expect a more stable currency. This is not a new trend, as the appreciation of the yuan has been sharp over the past decade; yuan-to-dollar

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Published on
April 11, 2016

Myanmar and Guinea Bissau are being marked as tragets for growth by fisheries officials in the south-easterly province of Fujian which has announced bullish figures for long-distance catches in 2015: these rose by 20 percent to CNY 3.15 billion (USD 472 million) in value and 3.18 million tons in volume.

These figures suggest China’s long-distance fishing returns are greater than the national official figures for growth in Chinese

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Published on
April 8, 2016

Shares in the country’s largest listed seafood firm are at a five-year low, to RMB 9.58 (USD 1.40, EUR 1.30). Shares in Zoneco Group Co Ltd, listed on the Shenzhen exchange, are down from RMB 16.68 (USD 2.50, EUR 2.27) in 2015 and from RMB 37.26 (USD 5.58, EUR 5.07) in April 2011.

Investors were turned off Zoneco when profitability fell 44 percent in 2014, but the company’s share price was helped upwards by China’s bull market prior to

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Published on
April 6, 2016

Wales Deputy Minister for Farming and Food Rebecca Evans said six companies from her country will be traveling to Seafood Expo Global/Seafood Processing Expo taking place 26 to 28 April in Brussels, Belgium.

Evans said on 4 April the expo provided a forum for Welsh seafood companies to show they are “up there with the best in the world,” according to Fish News EU.

“Wales has a remarkable range of highly innovative seafood producers, who

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Published on
April 6, 2016

Karmenu Vella, the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for the European Commission, will travel to Algeria on Thursday, 7 April to discuss the need for a common strategy for the management and development of the Mediterranean Sea’s resources.

The visit follows the agreement reached in Catania, Italy in February 2015 by European Union Mediterranean ministers that urgent action is needed to reverse the decline of fish

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Published on
April 6, 2016

China’s seafood hubs are undergoing a potentially critical economic shift, as shipment and export fall while wages stagnate.

China’s traditional base for seafood processing, Liaoning Province, has seen shipments fall again in the first two months of 2016. Shipments fell 11 percent in volume terms while exports in value were down 8.5 percent. The figures are unprecedented for Liaoning – home to the port of Dalian – but mirror similar

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Published on
April 4, 2016

A U.S.-based hotel chain is using seafood as a marketing ploy to drum up more business with local wealthy Chinese in Beijing.

The Beijing branch of the Waldorf Astoria this month launched a seafood tower featuring French oysters at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Brasserie 1893. The hotel draws plenty of Chinese executives who pay USD 80 to 100 (EUR 70 to 88) for a seafood buffet.

Also on the menu: “Carabineros red fire prawns, Boston

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Published on
April 4, 2016

Buoyed by high global prices for salmon, China’s fish farmers continue to try to farm the fish species. A string of freshwater salmon farms have surfaced in the inland province of Hubei, which is pocked with lakes and known for crabs and eels. In Hubai, a  group of local aquaculture villages have been breeding salmon with some success.

“Hubei province has plenty of mountain springs and lots of townlands are now experimenting with

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