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The Gorton's Family Whale Killing Business - Environmental ...

The Gorton's Family Whale Killing Business - Environmental ...

GORTON’S AND NISSUI©

GORTON’S AND NISSUI© Mia Strickland/Environmental Investigation AgencyAbove: The success of Gorton’s fish sticks and other ready-to-eat products have helped Gorton’s become the number onefrozen seafood vendor in the U.S.GORTON’S LINK TO NISSUI, A COMPANY WITHA 70 YEAR HISTORY OF WHALE HUNTINGWith total annual sales in the hundreds of millions ofdollars, Gorton’s, Inc. (hereafter referred to as Gorton’s) isthe market leader of frozen seafood and fish vendors in theUnited States (US). Its frozen battered shrimp, fish sticksand other ready-to-eat foods are sold at grocery storesacross the US and Canada. The company also markets freshseafood for home delivery through its Gorton's FreshSeafood internet business, supplies frozen seafood to thefoodservice industry in the US, and produces theMcDonald’s “Filet-O-Fish ® ” sandwich.Gorton’s was founded in the New England town ofGloucester, Massachusetts in 1849 by Slade Gorton. In1906, Gorton’s merged with two other local fishingcompanies to become Gorton-Pew Fisheries Companywhich controlled the largest fleet of fishing vessels operatedby any company on the Atlantic Coast at the time. In 1995-96, Gorton’s was purchased by General Mills andsubsequently sold to Unilever's US subsidiary, UnileverUSA.Nissui USA) for $175 million. Nissui USA is a whollyowned subsidiary of Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd. (hereafterreferred to as Nissui), Japan’s second-largest marineproducts firm, with operations in the United States,Argentina, Chile, the Netherlands, China, Indonesia,Singapore and Vietnam.Recognizing the importance of overseas expansion, Nissuiestablished a “Toward Global Links” plan in 2001 toincrease its market share and access to fishing rightsthrough the acquisition and establishment of subsidiaries inforeign countries. Through its US subsidiary, Nissui nowowns UniSea of Redmond, Washington, FishkingProcessors of Los Angeles, BlueWater Seafoods ofMontreal and King & Prince Seafood Corporation ofBrunswick, Georgia. 1In 2001, Gorton’s was sold by Unilever to its currentowner, Nippon Suisan (USA), Inc. (hereafter referred to as2

GORTON’S AND NISSUIToday, Gorton’s is the number one brand name frozenseafood and fish vendor in the US with estimatedannual sales of around $200 million dollars. 11 In 2004,Gorton’s commanded 36.8 percent of the dollar sharein a $613 million market. Nissui’s overseassubsidiaries, particularly Gorton’s, are vitally importantto the company’s success, growth and competitive edgein the wake of increasing globalization. Gorton’s isNissui’s most profitable overseas subsidiary. 2 In itsMarch 2005 financial report, Nissui attributed its recentprofit margin increases to “…the increase in salesgenerated by the Marine Products business in the USand Europe, which offset the tough business climatefaced in Japan.” 2© David Groves/ EIAAbove: As part of its global expansion, Nissui purchasedGortons, Inc. in 2001.© Mia Strickland/EIA© Ezra Clark/EIAAbove: Nissui’s global expansion.3Above: The Nissuilogo, a red and whitetarget, can be found onits canned whale meatproducts.

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