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
February 12, 2012

Lower transportation and labor costs are allowing AgriMarine Holdings’ salmon farmed in China to compete against imports, even though salmon prices are dropping.

Three years into operation, AgriMarine’s output of Pacific steelhead salmon has all been sold, according to the company, which will bring its first China-farmed chinook salmon to market by mid-2012. Taste and appearance are similar to salmon produced by AgriMarine in Canada, said

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Published on
February 5, 2012

“I want to bring oyster culture to China,” said Chris Herbert, a Canadian seafood importer and co-owner of the Starfish seafood restaurant and oyster bar in Beijing.

Starfish seems well located, opposite the embassy of Canada, a favorite emigration destination among China’s wealthy. Business is brisk for the co-owners, Herbert and his Taiwanese-American partner Alisha Bailey. The duo has oysters flown in from Seattle once a week. Most of

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Published on
January 26, 2012

China’s inland fisheries face a grim future due to chronic droughts gripping the country’s major central provinces. As China chases economic growth through investment in infrastructure and manufacturing, the twin pressures of urbanization and industrialization are siphoning the country’s water resources and putting inland fishermen out of work.

Boats have been tied this month on Poyang Lake, the country’s largest freshwater lake, and

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Published on
January 22, 2012

Media exposure is vital to sales for foreign importers and seafood promotion bodies.

“Comparatively limited resources” for mainstream advertising means seafood promoters must create editorial by engaging influential TV chefs, food writers and bloggers, said Fan Xubing, managing director of Beijing Seabridge Marketing and Consulting Co., Ltd. He has negotiated valuable media coverage for a growing number of seafood trade bodies on Chinese TV

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Published on
January 19, 2012

The rapid rollout of fast-food chains across China is driving a switch to frozen, convenience-style seafood judging by visits to KFC outlets in Beijing.

The U.S.-based chain is currently running a promotion on shrimp burgers and breaded shrimp balls in its north China stores. A KFC outlet in the city’s southern railway station, however, was sold out of the RMB 15 breaded burgers, which are advertised prominently in boarding and LED screens in

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Published on
January 5, 2012

Editor’s note: SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mark Godfrey reports from Xiamen, China, this week. 

As Chinese consumers become increasingly prosperous, they’re travelling more. And as Chinese New Year, the busiest travel period of the year, approaches, savvy Chinese seafood retailers and processors are capitalizing on festive demand to drive sales among travelers.

In the prosperous south coast city of Xiamen, a key seafood-processing and

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Published on
December 15, 2011

In another sign that China’s wealthy are on the radar of seafood exporters, Madagascar shrimp will be exported to the country in 2012.

Ram Avasarla, global sales director at Unima, is confident local consumers will pay for high-end shrimp.

“If they pay for Bordeaux and Louis Vuitton and salmon then why not for our product?” said Stephane Jackiw, commercial director at Unima.

French-owned Unima, which counts British retailer Marks &

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Published on
December 14, 2011

The South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea is keen to satisfy China’s demand for shark fins, set to surge with the onset of Chinese New Year in January.

“We’re getting a lot of enquiries from China,” said Carson Koviro, provincial supports officer with the island nation’s National Fisheries Authority.

Koviro explained that while the authority’s emphasis is on driving tuna exports to China, shark fin sales have been strong. The trade

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Published on
December 8, 2011

European buyers can’t compete with prices offered in China for cuttlefish and squid, according to Pakistani producers who say their priority has shifted from the EU market, which is still off limits, to China, where food-safety standards are less exacting. Brussels has so far refused to lift a ban on Pakistani seafood imports, in place since 2007, on hygiene grounds.

Iftikhar Zaidi, CEO of People Fisheries Ltd., based on the West Wharf,

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Published on
November 21, 2011

India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) plans to open an office in China, according to a senior official at the organization.

An office in China will add to bureaus in Brussels and Tokyo, as India seeks to grow market share for its shrimp in particular, according to MPEDA director Ponnusamy Mohanasundaram. He said India, the world’s No. 2 farmed seafood producer, is attractive to buyers from China due to lower production

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