Fish And Seafood Sustainability – Sustainability | Mars, Incorporated
Fish and Seafood 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 2016, 43 percent of our fish and seafood ingredients came from sustainable sources. We’re using our 4R strategy to reduce, replace, reassure and respect. Read on to find out more:

  • We reduce the amount of fish we need to make our products by using parts of fish that were previously discarded. This meant we saved nearly 2 million whole tuna in 2016!
  • We always replace endangered species, such as Bluefin Tuna or Chilean Seabass with sustainable alternatives. We also substitute wild-caught fish with other species that have healthy stocks or are sustainably farmed.
  • By working with credible partners, such as Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, WWF and Marine Stewardship Council, we can reassure our customers (and their furry friends!) that we’re making progress towards our 2020 goal.
  • We’re advancing respect for human rights in our fish supply chain. In 2016, we released an Action Plan showing how we will address human rights in Thai fisheries going beyond our Tier 1 suppliers.
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.

Learn More About Our Thai Fish Supply Chain Human Rights Plan