China is now New Zealand's number one seafood export market, taking over from Australia for the first time.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry says China imported nearly $300 million worth of seafood in 2011.
The main products were rock lobster, hoki and squid.
Seafood Industry Council general manager of trade Alastair Macfarlane says a factor in China's rise is its free trade agreement with this country.
But he says it is also being driven by the high demand for rock lobster, the imported value of which is up by $100 million compared to 2010.