like a side of WHALE meat
with your McFish burger?
Whaling is not just the concern of governments and
cryptic political meetings. There is big business
involved. While whaling is not profitable, you
might be surprised to learn of some famous seafood
companies' connections to whaling.
Gorton's of Gloucester is the market leader in
frozen seafood products in the US. The company even
invented the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish burger.
In 2001 Gortons was sold to its current
owner, Nissui USA, for US$175 million. Nissui USA
is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nissui,
Japans second-largest marine products firm,
with operations in the United States, Argentina,
Chile, the Netherlands, China, Indonesia, Singapore
and Vietnam. But Nissui is closely linked with the
annual scientific whale hunt in
So, despite Gorton's
clean-cut family business image, it is actually a
Japanese multinational company whose parent company
is involved in whaling.
Recognizing the importance of
overseas expansion, Nissui has a plan to increase
its market share by buying foreign companies, such
as Gorton's. The plan seems to be moving at a
steady pace; in the US, Nissui now owns UniSea,
Fishking Processors, BlueWater Seafoods and King
& Prince Seafood Corporation. Internationally
it has shares in such companies as seafood giant
Sealord, JP Klausen (which supplies Nestlé,
Unilever, Heinz, and Espersen (McDonald's) in
Europe), UniSea and more. But is Nissui a fishing
company or a whaling company?
...Gortons is one of Nissuis most
profitable North American companies and an
important component of its plan for global