Nippon Suisan Kaisha

Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.
Public KK
Traded as TYO: 1332
Nikkei 225 Component
Founded Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, Japan (1911 (1911))
Founder Ichiro Tamura
Headquarters Nippon Bldg, 2-6-2 Ōtemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8686, Japan
Area served
Key people
Norio Hosomi, (CEO and President)

Increase $ 6.03 billion (FY 2012)

(¥ 566.858 billion) (FY 2012)

Decrease $ -50.94 million (FY 2012)

(¥ -4.789 billion) (FY 2012)
Number of employees
10,175 (consolidated) (as of March 31, 2013)
Website Official website
Footnotes / references

Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd. (日本水産株式会社 Nippon Suisan Kabushiki-gaisha), more commonly known as Nissui, is a marine products company based in Japan. It had annual revenues of US$5.1 billion in 2014.[4] The company was established in 1911, and is a commercial fishing and marine product procurement corporation. Its goal is to “Establish a global supply chain of marine products.”

The company is the second-largest of its kind in Japan after Maruha Nichiro Holdings and owns Gorton’s, a US frozen seafood company, among other companies. The company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is constituent of the Nikkei 225 stock index.[5] Its main competitors are Maruha Nichiro and Kyokuyo Co., Ltd.

Its former headquarters, built in Tobata (Kita Kyushu) in 1929, is now an exhibit center.[6]

As of 2013 the Company has 61 subsidiaries and 44 associated companies across Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North and South America.[7]


Acquired from Unilever Gorton's and Blue Water, pre-cooked frozen seafood brands for household use in North America
Founded Europacifico, a marketer of marine products, in Vigo, Spain
DOSA was established in Chile in order to administrating, marketing, and distributing for group fishery companies in Chile
Acquired 25% of shares of Glacier Fish Company
Hokkaido Fine Chemicals Co., Ltd. founded
Acquired Hokkaido Fine Chemicals Co from Nikkashi[8]
Nordic Seafood A/S becomes consolidated subsidiary


Main article: Whaling in Japan

With the implementation of the ban on commercial whaling in 1986, the strategy of the Government of Japan, Nippon Suisan, Maruha, and Kyokuyo was to continue commercial whaling at reduced levels, claiming it was for ‘scientific research’, but continuing to commercially trade the products. Although the number of whales killed was initially reduced, the hunt has steadily expanded since 1994. In 1987, 273 Antarctic minke whales were harpooned. Twenty years later, the Kyodo Senpaku whaling fleet plans to kill nearly 1,300, nearly five times as many.

In 1994, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) agreed a further layer of international protection for whales in the area of the Southern Ocean, through the adoption of an IWC whale sanctuary which prohibited all whale hunting. The Southern Ocean whale sanctuary was adopted by 23 votes to one: Japan was alone in its opposition. Rather than respect the legality of the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary, Kyodo Senpaku continued to kill up to 440 minke whales there each year.

In 2005, when Maruha, Kyokuyo and Nippon Suisan jointly owned the Kyodo Senpaku whaling fleet, a major expansion of the hunt was planned, with a proposal to kill up to 935 minke whales, 50 fin whales and 50 humpback whales each year. Humpback and fin whale populations were severely depleted by commercial whaling during the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the Southern Ocean, and were designated as vulnerable and endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in 1996. Historic records show that Nippon Suisan, Kyokuyo and Maruha hunted more than 4,200 humpback whales and more than 115,000 fin whales in the Southern Ocean before their protection in 1963 and 1976 respectively.

In 2005/06, the whalers killed 853 minke whales and ten fin whales. Due to a fire on the Nisshin Maru factory ship which cut the season short, the following Antarctic season ended in a smaller hunt of 505 minke whales and three fin whales.

The 2007/08 season was destined to be the first humpback whale hunt for more than four decades, resulting in unprecedented international attention to the plight of Antarctic whales and an intense outcry at the Kyodo Senpaku plan. In December 2007, the Government of Japan agreed to ‘delay’ the humpback hunt until after the June 2008 Annual Meeting of the IWC. According to Japan’s Foreign Minister Komura, the humpback hunt will only be postponed as long as “…the IWC is judged to move towards a normalization of its activities”, by which he means lifting the ban on commercial whaling. The expanded Southern Ocean whale kill is intended to be carried out indefinitely, with reviews every six years.

If the full hunt is carried out from 2008 onwards, it will result in the death of over 5,000 Antarctic minkes, 213 fin whales and 150 humpback whales during its first six years. While the number of whales killed each year has doubled, the tonnage of whale meat produced will triple; fin whales yield an estimated 26 tonnes of whale meat, compared to just 4 tonnes from Antarctic minke whales. Clearly, the aim of the expanded hunt is to increase production and consumption of whale meat in Japan. With rumours of a new factory ship to be built at an estimated cost of up to $188 million,13 there is no end in sight to Kyodo Senpaku’s commercial whaling, unless international pressure is brought to bear on Japan’s three influential seafood giants.[10]

See also


External links

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