Cat food flavoured with bluefin tuna, an endangered species, is being advertised online by the food giant Mars in the United States despite undertakings by the company that it will phase out seafood from unsustainable sources.
US readers of Fish2fork have pointed out the following link to cat food with “natural” bluefin tuna flavour:
Last month Mars Petcare announced in Britain that it was now committed globally to using only sustainably sourced fish across the Whiskas and Sheba brand ranges by 2020. By the end of this year, the eco-label denoting Marine Stewardship Council certification would appear on packs.
Mark Johnson, managing director of the company, told environmental groups in a letter: “As Europe’s largest petcare business we consider that we are in a position to affect (sic) real change where governments and regulators acting along may not be able to.”
Willie Mackenzie of Greenpeace commented: “Continuing to encourage the use of endangered species for cat food seems rather at odds with Whiskas’ recent announcement that they will only take fish from sustainable stocks, and eventually get round to sourcing all its fish sustainably by 2020.
“Atlantic bluefin is collapsing now. There probably won’t be any left by 2020, so Whiskas may find it impossible to get a sustainable source for their ‘natural bluefin flavour’ very, very soon.”
A spokesman for Mars Petcare US :
”Mars Petcare US is firmly committed to our global commitment to using only sustainably sourced fish by 2020. As part of this sustainability journey, we are completing a full assessment of our seafood ingredient sources and working closely with suppliers to assure the sustainability of our fish supplies. In addition, we are removing Blue Fin Tuna flavour from the WHISKAS® Brand line up and will offer a more sustainable variety, WHISKAS® Pacific Albacore Tuna Flavor in Sauce.
By the end of the summer, we will no longer offer Blue Fin Tuna flavor products to our retailers. Mars Petcare US does not use Big Eye Tuna in any of its products and will continue to assess its fish supplies as it works toward the ultimate goal of using only sustainably sourced fish by 2020. ”
More information about the company’s policy on sustainability can be found at www.Whiskas.com/sustainability.