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
June 13, 2013

Growth in China’s consumption of aquatic products is outpacing growth in production of such products, according to an agricultural ministry researcher in Beijing in documents provided to Seafoodsource by the ministry.

The shift to urbanization of rural residents is driving consumption among previously low-level consumption segment of society, said Zhang Yumei, a fisheries specialist at the Agriculture Information Institute at China’s Academy

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Published on
June 12, 2013

Local officials are causing China to grossly over-report its aquaculture output, according to a respected local academic investigating the country’s agricultural statistics.

Dr. Yu Xiaohua believes that China likely accounts for as little as half the 60 million tons of aquatic product claimed in official statistics published by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (and quoted in reports by international bodies such as the UN’s Food

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Published on
June 10, 2013

West Africa and the high seas will be China’s solution to a dwindling capture in its local waters, according to a senior fisheries researcher at the agriculture ministry in Beijing.

“China has signed agreements and will hope to sign more such deals with foreign governments, especially in Africa…it will also look to the high seas but fishing there is more difficult due to competition as well as more challenging waters,” Professor

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Published on
June 6, 2013

The average Chinese citizen will be eating 42.6 kg of fish in 2022, an average annual increase of 1.5 percent  over the next decade, meaning China as a whole will eat 63 million tons of fish by then. That's an increase of 26 percent on current figures, according to new projections from the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), compiled in cooperation with the

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Published on
June 4, 2013

China’s aquaculture sector is feeling the strain of rising land prices — with rents for agricultural land up 80 percent to 100 percent in some of the key southern provinces where aquaculture is clustered.

Fish farmers in Fujian, Guangdong and Zhejiang this week told SeafoodSource that acquiring land for ponds is increasingly difficult given competition from industry and real estate as well as an increasingly organized agro-processing

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Published on
June 2, 2013

Some of China’s largest seafood processing firms are seeking to raise cash this summer, among them loss-making shrimp specialist Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Co Ltd which plans to sell 8.8 million shares at CNY 6 (USD 0.98, EUR 0.75) a share. Justifying its cash quest, the firm has pointed to the positives of the bird flu outbreak that has resulted in prawn prices increasing 50 percent in the first quarter on the previous quarter.

Guolian has

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Published on
May 29, 2013

Credit remains a bottleneck for China’s armies of small-scale aquaculture producers, who make up the bulk of the country’s output in key species like shrimp and tilapia. There are, however, new signs of government-inspired efforts to loosen credit for small-time producers, who often lack the credit history and collateral of larger entities. An example of such a scheme is visible in the aquaculture on the outskirts of Hangzhou, a prosperous

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Published on
May 23, 2013

Continued demand for high-grade seafood in China alongside a clampdown on import “grey channels” (access points that are neither legal not clearly illegal) demand that exporting countries get behind national brands, said one marketing expert in Shanghai.

An ongoing crackdown on grey channels by Chinese authorities may mean bonding together is the best way to tackle the China market. Grey channels (often coming through Hong Kong) proliferated

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Published on
May 22, 2013

China added 1,395 new boats to its offshore fishing fleet in the first quarter of 2013 according to ministry of agriculture data, and figures show offshore catching grew faster than aquaculture compared to 2012.

The country’s offshore fishing reeled in 289,000 metric tons (MT) in the first three months of the year, an increase of 1 percent over the same period last year. That volume was worth RMB 3.2 billion (USD 521.6 million, EUR 403.2

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Published on
May 21, 2013

Aquaculture producers in Southeast Asia are proving reluctant to find alternative feeds even as the price of fishmeal continues to soar, according to a veteran watcher of the sector.

“It used to be inexpensive and plentiful, and as a result it was widely used in aquafeeds … However the economics and availabilities of fishmeal have changed and there needs to be a move away to using other ingredients to save money and for other ecological

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