Would you 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 Gorton’s was sold to its current owner, Nissui USA, for US$175 million. Nissui USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nissui, Japan’s 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 Japan.

So, despite Gorton's clean-cut family business image, it is actually a Japanese multinational company whose parent company is involved in whaling.

Nissui's global expansion

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?
...Gorton’s is one of Nissui’s most profitable North American companies and an important component of its plan for global expansion.