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.


Author Archive

Published on
February 14, 2024

The Worldwide Wildlife Fund (WWF) has discontinued a scorecard that ranked Hong Kong retailers on their seafood sustainability efforts.

The ranking began as an idea presented in 2014 for a sustainable seafood guide for consumers in Hong Kong. The WWF issued its “Scorecard on Key Areas in Sustainable Seafood Procurement Policy” for the first time in 2016, scoring retailers on how they set sustainable seafood targets, how they

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Published on
February 12, 2024

Europêche, the representative body for European fishers, has accused the authors of a recent report on forced labor in global fleets of displaying bias against Europe – a charge the report’s authors have strongly rebutted.

In a statement to SeafoodSource, Europêche CEO Daniel Voces said the authors of “Dark webs: Uncovering those behind forced labour on fishing fleets” – published by the Financial

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Published on
February 9, 2024

Brown crab from the U.K. and Ireland has once again become eligible for export into China, but a leading seafood trader in China has warned that both supply and demand remain constrained.

For years, the Chinese government has placed restrictions on brown crab imports due to concerns about cadmium – a contaminant found in crabs. Those restrictions have been met with consternation from Irish and U.K. exporters.

In June 2023, the General

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Published on
February 8, 2024

World Trade Organization (WTO) talks to end harmful fishery subsidies are deadlocked, with disagreement on criteria for classifying and reporting subsidies a major impediment to a deal.

After their Christmas break, negotiators reconvened on 15 January and have now self-imposed a 9 February deadline to reach a consensus to end subisidies that lead to overfishing and overcapacity among the world’s fishing fleets. WTO

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Published on
February 7, 2024

Beginning 9 February, citizens of China and Singapore will have 30-day visa-free access to each other’s countries. That could be a boon for Singaporean seafood restaurant chain JUMBO Group, which recently opened two new outlets in the city-state.

JUMBO’s new restaurants in Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh and Clarke Quay Central will be a draw for visitors to Singapore from China, who had driven consumption at upscale restaurants across

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Published on
February 5, 2024

With an expanded U.S. ban on Russian seafood coming into effect that now includes products processed in third countries, Russian exporters are increasingly pivoting to China.

At the 2024 China-Russia Economic and Trade Cooperation Negotiation Conference on 29 and 30 January, in Shenyang, China, 55 contracts worth CNY 13.6 billion (USD 1.9 billion, EUR 1.8 billion) were signed, including several seafood deals. Numerous seafood companies and cold

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Published on
February 1, 2024

State-owned tuna-fishing firm Shandong Zhonglu Oceanic Fisheries recently claimed that its operations off the coast of Ghana shipped 17,000 metric tons (MT) of the pelagic fish back to mainland China in 2023.

The company said its subsidiary-operated African Star vessel wrapped up a very successful year off of West Africa, which included one expedition in which the company landed 150 MT of tuna – a company record. It said its operations in

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Published on
January 31, 2024

U.S. retailers and distributors cutting ties with Chinese processors due to forced labor allegations has stymied demand for Chinese-processed products, according to the director of a major processing operation in northern China. 

“There has been a notable impact on demand due to the unwarranted and baseless allegations of ‘forced labor’ within the Chinese processing sector by some U.S. media,” the executive, who

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Published on
January 29, 2024

Aquaculture monitoring technology has gotten caught up in a propaganda campaign across state media and social media warning about the dangers of “foreign spies” in China.

A China Central Television’s Legal Channel 9 report that ran recently on several state media channels featured a Dalian resident identified as “Mr. Zhang,” who said he was visited by several uninvited foreign equipment suppliers in 2019 and agreed

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Published on
January 24, 2024

A recent conference in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou highlighted the country's big push to secure tuna resources and build out a value-added tuna sector.

At the Yangtze Tuna Industry Innovation and Development Conference in Hangzhou in mid-January, China’s largest tuna firms exhibited, including Ocean Family, Dayang Family, China Water Group, Shandong Zhonglu Ocean (Yantai) Food, Ningbo Today Food, Zhejiang Sunac Food Industry,

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