Location of North Pacific Seafoods processing plants

By Tom Asakawa, SeafoodNews.com
June 9, 2021

Canadian fisheries giant Canadian Fishing Company (aka Canfisco), known for producing salted herring roe for Japan, is a leading salmon and herring business in Alaska.

However, it announced on June 8 its policy to acquire North Pacific Seafoods, Inc. (NPSI), owned by the Marubeni Group. As a result, Marubeni, which has engaged in the North American business for many years, will completely withdraw from the production business in Alaska. Suisan Keizai reports it has already officially signed on June 4.

Details of the acquisition have not been reported. Still, Canfisco’s parent company Jim Pattison Group has restarted its expansion into Alaska in March this year, including the purchase of Bristol Bay salmon packer Deepsea Fisheries.

NPSI has processing plants in five locations along Bristol Bay in Alaska, including Pederson Point and Togiak Fisheries (also at Kodiak, Cook Inlet and Sitka).

It has mainly produced and supplied roe herring, sockeye salmon, salmon eggs, and bottomfish such as sablefish for Japan. However, with the withdrawal of Marubeni, there is a possibility that the production volume and specifications for the Japanese market will change significantly in the future.

Marubeni’s complete withdrawal from the Alaskan business marks the end of an era of Japan’s brisk seafood import business from North America, which expanded rapidly after establishing the 200-mile EEZ. Moreover, it is an indication that Japan’s seafood import business has reached a significant turning point.