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
August 13, 2012

Despite China’s ambition to be a world leader in caviar production the best chance for caviar from China may be in obscuring its origin.

That seems to be the case at the giant Jingshen seafood market in Beijing where Chinese caviar is sold in Cyrillic-language packaging. A CNY 50 price tag on a 30g jar is offered.

“It may look Russian but it’s sourced in China, definitely,” said stall holder Feng Lun.  

Chinese sturgeon growers, according

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Published on
August 8, 2012

seacucumber_plate_1.jpgStrong demand for sea cucumber (also known as beche mere) is driving investment in the sector in China, say analysts monitoring key cultivators. While a large-scale southern sea cucumber harvest this spring pulled the price down from RMB 216 per kilogram to RMB 160 kilograms. However, prices will increase in the second half of the year predicts Sun Xia, aquatic industry analyst at Guo Hai Securities Co.

With prices rising to RMB 200 per

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Published on
August 1, 2012

Many of Vietnam’s pangasius farmers are stopping production due to price drops partly prompted by price controls set by government in a crackdown on inflation, according to Dr. Flavio Corsin, manager of IDH Vietnam, a body advising local producers on sustainable production.

Corsin notes pangasius prices — which according to producers have dropped by an average 20 percent so far this year — have fallen for a range of reasons, including some

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Published on
August 1, 2012

A state-led push in China toward acceptance of the Good Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standard could prove a boost for the GlobalGAP aquaculture accreditation system among Chinese seafood producers.

Speaking to SeafoodSource at a GFSI conference for Chinese retailers and food producers in Beijing, Nigel Garbutt, chairman of Global Partnership for Good Agricultural Practices (GlobalGAP) explained Chinese and GlobalGAP standards will be fully

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Published on
July 22, 2012

Seafood choices are surprisingly diverse in the Chinese metropolis of Urumqi, which is 2,500 kilometers from the nearest sea, making it the world’s most inland city.

The fact that tilapia from the southeast coast can be competitive with lamb in China’s far western pastureland says much about the advances in China’s logistics network. A Carrefour outlet in Urumqi, China’s most westerly metropolis, sells tilapia chilled and frozen at RMB

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Published on
July 15, 2012

Strong demand from China and weak regulation and enforcement in source countries are overwhelming conservation efforts at of rare reef fish like coral groupers, according to research by Australian academics investigating production and consumption trends in Southeast Asia and China. 

Speaking during fieldwork in Beijing, Dr. Michael Fabinyi, of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook

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Published on
July 11, 2012

Seafood marketers should look at cooperating with tourism trade groups to benefit from a rising surge of outbound Chinese tourists. China, according to the World Tourism Organization, will by 2020 become the world’s No. 1 source of outbound tourists as well as the most visited destination.

In monitoring Chinese travel media over the past several months, SeafoodSource discovered a preoccupation with seafood in titles like Travel Plus and Travel

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Published on
June 19, 2012

On a Saturday afternoon, throngs of shoppers pile into Shapingba, a commercial hub in Chongqing, the megalopolis in southwestern China. Like most Chinese cities, Chongqing has been rebuilt as a sprawl of high rises and, lately, trendy U.S.-style commercial hubs such as the huge Capital Mall building above the Shapingba subway station into which a crush of mostly young punters file into to spend their wages on fashion and food.

New, well-run malls

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Published on
June 6, 2012

Zhejiang Provincial Ocean & Fisheries Bureau is reporting that local fishermen in the east coast province earned an average RMB 15,443 in 2011, a year-on-year increase of 11.6 percent.

The figure, however, looks modest next to the average urban wage in China but significantly better than rural incomes. Urban residents earned an average of RMB 23,979 in 2011 compared to a per-capita income of rural residents in 2011, which stood at RMB 6,977,

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Published on
May 30, 2012

China’s annual two-month ban on fishing in the South China Sea has taken on special significance this year — the Philippines and Vietnam have both said they don’t recognize the ban since it extends to their territorial waters.

China, meanwhile, has said the moratorium is a chance for peace in a simmering dispute with Manila over the Scarborough Reef (known as the Huangyu Islands in China), a group of islands that Beijing claims even though

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