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
December 27, 2012

A new rule by China’s Ministry of Agriculture taking affect in January will require producers to clearly label fish feed ingredients. The new rule is part of an increasing awareness among regulators in China on traceability and quality in aquaculture feed inputs, according to Maggie Xu, representative in China for the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization (IFFO).

The regulations are also meant to regulate usage of multiple species

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Published on
November 29, 2012

China’s subsidies for fishermen look set to hit a record increase this year. Estimations from several official sources and Ministry of Agriculture documents seen by SeafoodSource suggest China will pay CNY 20 billion (USD 3.2 billion, EUR 2.5 billion) in subsidies — most of it for fuel — to the catch fisheries sector in 2012, beating a record CNY 17.1 billion (USD 2.7 billion, EUR 2.1 billion) in fuel subsidies paid to fishing vessel

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Published on
November 28, 2012

In another sign of China’s growing appetite for rare reef fish, celebrity chef Dong Zhenxiang, better known as Da Dong, has switched the focus from duck to rare, imported seafood in a new menu. One of China’s most celebrated chefs, with a half-dozen Beijing eateries bearing his name, Da Dong made his name serving stylized versions of local favorites — in particular, Beijing roast duck — to a loyal clientele of locals, diplomats and

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Published on
November 20, 2012

Novel approaches for China’s aquafeed sector are slow to be embraced by authorities here. That’s clearly been the experience of French-based yeast specialist Lesaffre which has waited over a year for the paperwork to be allowed sell its yeast-based aquafeed solutions in the Chinese market.

According to head of China operations Philippe Tacon: “The licenses are still pending, some because of us not getting the right certificates, some

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Published on
November 5, 2012

The bustling port town of Zhangjiang in Guangdong province is seeking to become what Hong Kong once was: the entrepot for trade between mainland China and the world. The prosperous South China Sea port city, once a French-ruled fishing port, is keen to capitalize on an increasingly interdependent relationship between China and southeast Asia, driven by Chinese demand for resources and its search for markets in the ASEAN block.

In part by putting

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Published on
November 1, 2012

Even as restaurant business declines with the slowdown of the Chinese economy, high-end Beijing hotels see seafood as a sure-fire way to draw customers, according to a veteran of the local F&B sector.

Lobsters and oysters are key tools to marketing a five-star hotel in Beijing, according to Tim Hunt, executive chef at The Westin Chaoyang in Beijing’s business district. Hunt also pointed to the agility of Canada’s state-led marketing

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Published on
October 23, 2012

China’s coastal aquaculture sector could be about to get a policy boost judging by a flurry of documents coming out of Beijing’s policy-making corridors recently.

In a sign that China is grappling with marine pollution and coastal erosion — while also trying to spur new sources of economic growth from its seas — last week the state council, or cabinet, approved the marine development plans of eight coastal provinces. This follows the

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Published on
October 9, 2012

With crab season in full swing across China, vendors of the country’s famous Yangcheng crabs have used giveaways of high-tech gadgets to entice big-ticket customers. “Spend RMB 29,999 and get an iPad3, spend RMB 49,999 and get an iPhone4S for free” is an offer made by crab trader Yangcheng Pin Shang Pin to entice buyers. Splashed in half-page adverts across several Beijing daily newspapers, the firm’s offer says much about gift-giving

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Published on
October 2, 2012

The weakest economic growth in a decade and a sluggish euro zone economy are both reasons for pessimism for China’s seafood producers and importers. One firm exporting from China, Siam Canadian, said its shipments in the first half of 2012 were down 20 percent in the same period last year due to weaker demand in its top markets: Canada, U.K., Mexico and the United States. 

“Many processors say that they are losing money. However, their

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Published on
September 26, 2012

A surprisingly positive newsflow suggests some of China’s seafood exporters have done better than expected in 2012. Even as China’s overall export growth has slowed in 2012, there’s been a slew of good news stories, like in Zhanjiang, a shrimp production hub in Guangdong province. Zhanjiang’s aquatic food exports to the EU and United States grew 15 percent in the first half of 2012, according to the Zhanjiang Foreign Trade & Economic

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