Fish And Seafood Sustainability – Sustainability | Mars, Incorporated
Fish Sustainability



Seafood is an important part of the diet of many pets and people worldwide. At Mars, we’re committed to researching and implementing more and more sustainable practices for sourcing this valuable resource so that we can continue to offer our products that contain fish in a way that is healthy for people, pets and the environment.


In 2015, 35 percent of our fish and seafood came from sustainable sources. How are we making progress, you ask? Well, we’re using the 4R strategy to reduce, replace, reassure, and respect. Some examples include:

  • We reduce our use of whole fish and fillets by making more efficient use of each fish and reducing waste. Since 2014, we have reduced waste from Pacific salmon fisheries by utilizing 4,500 metric tons of by-products previously being thrown back into the sea or landfilled.
  • We always replace endangered species, including Bluefin Tuna, Chilean Seabass, Swordfish and Orange Roughy, with sustainable alternatives. And we substitute wild-caught fish with other species that have healthy stocks or are sustainably farmed.
  • By working with recognized organizations, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® and Marine Stewardship Council, we can reassure our customers (and their furry friends!) that we are on the right track. 
  • We will seek to ensure that human rights are respected in our fish supply chains around the world.
Isabelle Aelvoet

“All cats love tuna — it’s a fact, right? We want to make sure that the seafood in WHISKAS® and our other pet food brands has no negative impact on the environment or society. As part of our commitment to sustainable fish, we will only use fish from wild stocks that are not threatened or are responsibly farmed. We will replace all wild whole fish and fish fillets with fish by-products and responsibly farmed seafood products. And we will develop and use alternatives to marine fish ingredients.”
— Isabelle Aelvoet, Global Sustainability Director, Mars Petcare


We recognize that our actions can make a real and lasting difference in the lives of many people and their pets. The Mars Five Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom are the foundation of our culture and our approach to business.

The Five Principles are the foundation of our Human Rights Policy, in which we commit to promote and respect human rights throughout our value chain in alignment with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

In the first tier of our supply chain, we apply the Mars Supplier Code of Conduct and engage with our suppliers to address human rights issues in their workplaces. In our extended supply chains, where we often have less influence and visibility, we collaborate with industry, governments and civil society to advance respect for human rights.

One such complex extended supply chain is seafood — a source of protein in our foods for pets. We use small amounts of fish from Thai fisheries in some of our cat food products. We are deeply concerned about the widely reported practice of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Southeast Asian waters. As part of our commitment to sustainably sourced fish, we are therefore taking steps to map our fish supply chain in the region, to identify any potential environmental or social issues, and to create an action plan to address them.

We are now working with an NGO partner to map our global fish supply chain to help us establish greater visibility into its extended tiers. And, we are engaging with others in industry, NGOs and local community groups to seek insights about the nature and extent of human rights and environmental issues in Thai fish supply chains in particular. This effort includes engagement with our fish suppliers in Thailand. For example, we are in active dialogue with Thai Union on establishing traceability and identifying and addressing issues in our tuna fish supply chain.

Based on this information and insight, we will be issuing an action plan in July 2016 outlining the steps we will take as we seek to ensure that human rights are respected and that our environmental standards are upheld in our fish supply chains in Thailand. This action plan will include information about the nature of our fish supply chains, our key objectives, the metrics we will use to measure our progress and a timeline for activation.

We also will continue our multi-stakeholder engagements on these complex issues. Since October 2015, we have been active member of the Shrimp Sustainable Supply Chain Task Force - a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together community groups, international NGOs and major global and national industry players in Thailand to take urgent action to address human rights and environmental issues in the seafood industry. We are playing a leadership role in the Tuna Sub-Group of the Task Force. The Task Force is committed to three objectives:

  • Implement track and trace systems with international verification from canning plant to vessel.

  • Drive Thai Port Codes of Conduct, and effective controls on tuna imported into Thailand for processing.

  • Drive effective Tuna Conservation and Fisheries Management measures.

We believe that as a principled global business we have a responsibility to contribute to the change that needs to be made for Southeast Asian fisheries to become safe and sustainable. We commit to sharing our commitments, successes and challenges in this effort as we strive to make a positive difference.