Nippon Suisan (USA) owns and steers the helms of the boats chartered by the famed Gorton's fisherman. Established by Japanese seafood giant Nippon Suisan Kaisha in 1974, Nippon Suisan (USA) is a big fish in the fishing industry in the North Pacific and is one of the largest marine product suppliers in the US. The company and its subsidiaries provide fresh and frozen fish and fish products such as fish meal, fish oil, and even prepared frozen fish dinners. It provides these products to its parent company food companies for processing and distribution throughout the US and Canada. The well-known Massachusettes-based Gorton's frozen fish company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nippon Suisan (USA).
As a big buyer of Alaskan pollock -- the ubiquitous whitefish that is molded into most of the fish sticks and fish patties sold in the US -- Nippon Suisan (USA) will feel in 2010 the effects of strict new catch limits set by federal fisheries managers. In an attempt to keep fish stock sustainable, the cap on harvesting of Alaskan pollock was set at its lowest level in 30 years.
Since its purchase of Gorton's from Unilever in 2001, the company has made several add-on purchases, including 25% of Glacier Fish Company, a fishery that harvests, processes, and markets Northwestern US and Alaskan whitefish, in 2008. Nippon Suisan (USA) joined Glacier in jointly purchasing Alaska Ocean Seafood, operator of the US fishing vessel. Alaska Ocean. Other acquisitions include King & Prince Seafood Corp., which extended the reach of the company's value-added frozen shrimp and seafood products, in 2005. That same year, its UniSea (fish production and canning) subsidiary, along with a local partner, acquired Royal Aleutian Seafoods in order to substantially increase its crab production ability and quota.