The Seafood TOP 2021 list recognizes the outstanding innovations and achievements that are driving the seafood industry forward in 2021. The Trademodo editorial team has compiled a list of the top 20 seafood giants with annual revenues that have exceeded USD $1 billion, including vertically integrated fishing companies, seafood wholesalers, seafood processors, seafood distributors, and more.
1Maruha Nichiro, Japan – For being the largest sustainable focused seafood company
2020 revenue of 862 billion Japanese Yen (USD $8.35 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Maruha Nichiro is the world’s largest seafood company with 13,117 employees across 149 subsidiaries. They have 39 MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) and ASC (Aquatic Stewardship Council) certified seafood products, and are known for pioneering egg-to-harvest bluefin tuna farming. With operations tracing back to 1880, Maruha Nichiro’s global presence can now be found in over 70 countries and regions across the world.
2Nissui (Nippon Suisan Kaisha), Japan – For pioneering land-based farmed mackerel
2020 revenue of 656 billion Japanese Yen (USD $6.55 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Nissui is one of the largest seafood companies in the world with 9,431 employees and operations that cover all levels of the seafood supply chain. In addition to offering MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), ASC (Aquatic Stewardship Council), and MEL (Marine Eco-Label) certified products, they are also members of the GSSI (Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative) and SeaBOS (Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship). Nissui is known for heavily investing in research and development related to fish farming, food processing, finding pharmaceutical applications for their products, and more.
3Thai Union Group, Thailand – For cultivating seafood alternatives
2020 revenue of 132 billion Thai Baht (USD$ 4.05 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Beginning as a canned tuna processor and exporter, Thai Union has grown to be a global seafood leader with over 70 subsidiaries across the world. They offer sustainably labeled products and are involved with the UN Global Impact, the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF), the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST), The Nature Conservancy, and more. Thai Union also heavily invested in innovative food companies with six major investments in the areas of alternative protein, functional nutrition, and value chain technology.
4Mowi ASA (Marine Harvest), Norway – For being the leading sustainable salmon producer
2020 revenue of 3.73 billion Euro (USD $ 4.18 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Mowi is recognized as the largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the world, with operations in 25 countries and 12,000 employees. Their heavy investment into genetics, feed, and farming operations allowed them to produce 440,000 tonnes of salmon in 2020 – 20% market share. They have also implemented a sustainability strategy known as The Blue Revolution Plan.
5Cermaq Group AS (Mitsubishi Corporation), Japan – For salmon farming advancements
2020 revenue of 9.1 billion Norwegian Krone (USD $ 1.03 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Cermaq is a leading salmon producer, with 3,000 employees and 166,000 tonnes of salmon produced in 2020. The company holds certifications with the ASC (Aquatic Stewardship Council), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), GlobalG.A.P., and ISO (International Organization for Standardization). They have also been continually investing in research and development like with their semi-closed containment system.
6Dongwon Industries Co. Ltd, South Korea – For advancing aquaculture in South Korea
2020 revenue of 6,671 billion South Korean Won (USD $ 6.14 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Dongwon Industries was founded in 1969 and holds the undisputed title of the largest fishing company in South Korea. Although the company heavily focuses on their operations in Asia, they still have a vast global presence with businesses involved in processing, logistics, distribution, packaging, and more. Their recent joint venture with Salmon Evolution puts them on our radar for their plans to create an 11,500 square meter land-based salmon farm.
7Nutreco (Skretting), Norway – For investments in disruptive food technologies
2020 revenue of 16.7 billion Euro (USD $ 20.26 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Nutreco is best known in the seafood industry for Skretting, their aquaculture feed manufacturing subsidiary. They are an absolute giant, with over 51,600 employees across 64 countries. Although their expertise in feed is not limited to the seafood industry, they made our list for their recent investments into 14 disruptive food companies for feeding the future.
8Trident Seafoods, United States – For being the leader in sustainable fishing
2020 revenue of USD $2.5 billion. Trident Seafoods is one of the largest private family-owned seafood companies in the world with over 1,200 employees. They pride themselves on their fishing heritage and close ties with the fishermen. As a result, they are known for being one of the most responsible fishing companies in the industry.
9Cargill, United States – For creating a 100% sustainable soy salmon feed
2020 revenue of USD $114.6 billion. Cargill is a food and agricultural giant, with over 155,000 employees across 70 countries. Although the company does not solely focus on the seafood industry, they still have 38 aquaculture feed facilities across 20 countries. They made our list for their recent commitment to sustainably source their marine feed ingredients.
10Kyokuyo, Japan – For sustainable skipjack tuna fishing
2020 revenue of 262 billion Japanese Yen (USD $ 2.54 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Kyokuyo is one of the largest Japanese seafood companies involved in fishing and farming. They employ over 2,300 employees and are known for being a leader in sustainable skipjack tuna fishing. Kyokuyo offers products carrying MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), ASC (Aquatic Stewardship Council), and MEL (Marine Eco-Label) certified products.
11Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods), Thailand – For sustainable fishmeal and green packaging
2020 revenue of 589 billion Thai Baht (USD $ 19.52 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). CP Foods specializes in animal feed, farming, and food production, and has a global presence in more than 17 countries. Their seafood branch is primarily focused on feed, farming, and production of shrimp and fish products. The company guarantees that all of its fishmeal is sustainably sourced, and is working towards 100% reusable, recyclable, upcyclable, or compostable packaging on its products.
12Marubeni Corporation, Japan – For investing in recirculating aquaculture systems
2020 revenue of 6,827 billion Japanese Yen (USD $ 59.03 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Marubeni is a major Japanese conglomerate with 310 subsidiaries and over 45,000 employees. Their seafood efforts are largely focused on consumer markets in Japan and the United States. In addition to carrying MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), ASC (Aquatic Stewardship Council), and MEL (Marine Eco-Label) certified products, Marubeni has also started to align with UN Sustainable Development Goals. They made our list for their recent investment in a sustainable closed-circulation aquaculture salmon operation based out of Denmark.
13Pacific Seafood, United States – For waste reduction and green packaging
2020 revenue unconfirmed, but previously reported revenues over USD $1 billion. Pacific Seafood is a major US-based seafood company that can trace its operations back to 1941. Despite experiencing COVID-related hardships, the company still has a strong commitment to environmental responsibility. They use and distribute recyclable packaging for fresh, frozen, and prepared seafood products. Pacific Seafood also recycled 350,000 lbs of metal in 2020 through their waste reduction plan.
14Cooke Aquaculture Inc. & Cooke Seafood USA, Canada – For fastest-growing private seafood company
2020 revenue unconfirmed, but reported USD $2.4 billion in 2018. Founded by Canadians in 1985, Cooke began as a single aquaculture company and has grown to become a global seafood powerhouse. The company now employs over 10,000 employees and ships over a billion pounds of seafood to 67 countries. With its recent acquisition of yet another processing company, the company now has more than 40 subsidiaries with just a 37-year history.
15BioMar (Schouw Co.), Denmark – For research and development into environmental friendly feed
2020 revenue of 1.5 billion Euro (USD $ 1.82 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). BioMar is a leading feed producer, supplying over 80 countries with high-performance aquaculture feed. The company’s team of 1500 produces 1.25 million tons of feed for an estimated 1 out of 5 farmed fish produced in both Europe and Chile. With a full-time research team and dedicated facilities, BioMar was able to launch a Blue IMPACT feed that is able to minimize the environmental impact associated with caged fish farming.
16Nueva Pescanova, Spain – For research and development in octopus farming
2020 revenue of 905 million Euro (USD $ 1.09 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Nueva Pescanova is a massive Spanish seafood company with over 10,000 employees and a global presence in 80 countries. Known for its fishing and farming capabilities, the company’s research into octopus aquaculture has recently been concluded after making several significant breakthroughs. Nueva Pescanova is now in the process of opening the world’s largest octopus farm. Despite criticism from environmental groups about the ethics of octopus farming, the company has still made 654 corporate social responsibility actions including aligning with the UN Principles for a Sustainable Ocean.
17Tri Marine Group, United States – For being sustainable tuna fishing
2020 revenue of USD $1 billion. Tri Marine is a leading tuna fishing company with operations covering all levels of the tuna supply chain. The company is known for production equivalent to about 10% of all global tuna catch. As a result, the company has made an effort to lead sustainability efforts by being a founding member of the International Sustainable Seafood Foundation (ISSF), and the leader of the work done on tuna by the Seafood Task Force (STF). They have recently obtained MSC certification for longline-caught albacore and yellowfin tuna from the Solomon Islands.
18SalMar, Norway – For salmon production with 100% sustainable feed
2020 revenue of 12.91 billion Norwegian Krone (USD $ 1.49 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). SalMar is a major salmon producer, harvesting a total salmon volume of 173,500 tonnes of gutted weight in 2020. They have made heavy investments in both onshore and offshore salmon aquaculture facilities, and have grown to employ over 1700 personnel since 1991. SalMar aims to maintain its reputation as the largest and most efficient producer of farmed salmon by using feed that is deforestation-free, non-GMO, and not dependent on endangered fish stocks.
19Royal Greenland, Greenland – For collaborative research efforts
2020 revenue of 4.8 billion Danish Krone (USD $ 0.73 billion – exchange rate from 01/01/2021). Royal Greenland is a major seafood player owned by the Greenlandic Government. The company employs over 2,200 employees and is known for being the largest supplier of cold water prawns and Greenland halibut. Royal Greenland is a fully vertically integrated company that spends considerable effort in research and innovation. The company is currently involved in a shell-on prawn industrial research project, the European WASEABI research project, and a research project involved with scientifically documenting Atlantic cod production chains.
20High Liner Foods, Canada – For consumer-focused products and food services
2020 revenue of USD $0.83 billion. High Liner Foods is a leading processor of value-added frozen seafood. This Canadian company employs over 1,200 personnel and is known for its innovative award-winning seafood with MSC (Marine Stewardship Council), ASC (Aquatic Stewardship Council), and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification labels. The company is also compliant and works with organizations like Seafood Watch, OceanWise, FIPs (Fishery Improvement Projects), SFP (Sustainable Fisheries Partnerships), the GSSI (Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative), and more.