Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash. Mars Petcare hired the MFE team to improve their internal process governing sustainable fish sourcing.

Project Overview

Mars Short-term Consultancy on Fish Sustainability

Mars Petcare

Location: Thailand
Year: 2021
Project: Mars Short-term Consultancy on Fish Sustainability
Photo: Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash

Mars Short-term Consultancy on Fish Sustainability

Mars Petcare hired the MFE team to improve their internal process governing sustainable fish sourcing. The research was broken into the following parts:

1) Desk review exercise on fish sustainability concepts:

The project compiled a comprehensive list of key factors defining fish sustainability, utilizing a triple-bottom line approach. It included a comparative benchmark table featuring major certifications, ratings, and assessment standards for both fisheries and aquaculture. The analysis incorporated concepts related to human rights, social responsibility, and environmental impact, considering tools such as the Seafood Carbon Emissions Tool. A comparative analysis of industry leaders’ sustainability strategies was conducted based on Mars’ sourcing guidelines. Stakeholder perceptions and trends in fish sustainability were evaluated through online research and outreach to industry and NGO networks, emphasizing geographic differences.

2) Revision of the Mars Petcare internal marine ingredients (fish & seafood) sourcing guidelines:

Interviews with Mars’ staff and external stakeholders informed specific language revisions, focusing on auditability. The feedback was summarized in a matrix format, discussed with the Global Sustainability Senior Manager, and integrated into a revised version of the guidelines. The final version encompassed environmental, social, and economic sustainability principles.

3) Recommendations on supply chain mapping and traceability verification approach.

The project also aimed to enhance Mars Petcare’s supply chain traceability by aligning its data collection template with the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) standards. This included ensuring compatibility with critical tracking events (CTE) for wild-caught and aquaculture products and comparing data with government-required elements and industry protocols. Insights from seafood buyers contributed to a list of existing traceability systems and a gap analysis, and the project provided recommendations for a fully integrated traceability approach across multiple regions of interest.

4) Training for Mars’ staff:

Based on the results of the above exercises, MFE produced multimedia training materials  to train Mars staff on the results of the project. 

The project focused on distilling guidance from technical research and expert consultation to systematically produce a methodologically sound set of deliverables that aligned with the primary goals of fish sustainability. Building on Mars’ recent progress to achieve 100% sustainability, MFE’s work produced actionable advice for Mars’ staff grounded in current best practice that will lead to further improvements in Mars’ fish sustainability practices. 

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Clients & Collaborators


What our clients say


  • "Global Fishing Watch hired the MarFishEco team to conduct a horizon scan focused on utilizing big data and AI to address the impacts of climate change. Through a comprehensive review of research trends, funding portfolios, and public media awareness, the MFE team provided a foundational understanding for GFW, which was further developed through key informant interviews and in-depth analyses. The outputs from MFE were excellent, addressing questions posed by multiple members of the GFW team and board, and were consistently clear and concise. The final report clearly presented potential paths forward for GFW (including the intersections between them), avoiding unnecessary detail and including many clear visual representations of the findings. Working with MFE was a great experience. We were kept informed, the project adhered to the planned timeline, and the team went above and beyond to address additional questions as GFW integrated the findings into our research pipeline and project portfolio. We look forward to collaborating with MFE again."

    Sarah Bladen

    Chief, Strategy & External Affairs, Global Fishing Watch

  • “The Coalition contracted MarFishEco to delve deeper into their Global Charter for Fisheries Transparency, ten policy principles seeking to bring about change in fisheries governance and transparency. The MFE team researched peer-reviewed and policy literature along with public media content to produce an explanatory report backed by real-world case studies to complement the Charter’s ten principles. The MFE team worked closely with the Coalition team in DC to ensure the report was constructed in a way that balanced potential political sensitivities with realistic and impactful examples of fisheries mismanagement and human rights and labor abuses. MFE also drafted a user guide to help those interested in advocating for fisheries transparency better navigate what can be an overwhelming space. We enjoyed working with MFE and appreciated their ability to refine many ideas driven by a large internal authorship group. It was also very clear that the MFE team was well-versed in both the expert content related to global fisheries and illegal fishing as well as the juggling of multiple versions and comment sets.”

    Emily Porterfield & Maisie Pigeon

    Associate & Director, Oceana

  • "MarFishEco worked with FAO and INFOPESCA on a fish landing site diversification project in 2018. During this assignment, Andrew showed his interest and knowledge in marine fisheries issues, including infrastructure needs, by addressing the needs of stakeholders and fishers. I was particularly impressed by their innovative actions regarding information and data collection, and the very logical way of presenting the information at the projects final multi-stakeholder workshop. I hope to work with MarFishEco again in the future when we develop the work further."

    Helga Josupeit

    Senior Fisheries Officer, FAO

  • "We contracted MarFishEco to undertake a study on the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy external dimensions and best practices. The purpose of the study was to take stock of the effectiveness of EU implementation of the rules on ensuring legal, sustainable and equitable fisheries in its fishing activity outside EU waters and thus its contribution to the achievement of relevant SDGs. The report contributed to the wider Fish Forward II project. Working with Andrew was an easy and efficient experience. Clear timelines were set out at each stage of the project for a seamless delivery of a high-quality report. I happily recommend working with MarFishEco, a trustworthy and responsive fisheries consultancy that produces rigorous, impactful and communicable outputs."

    Rhona Kent

    Fisheries Policy Officer, WWF

  • "We contracted MarFishEco to produce an analysis of the current state of marine tourism activities in Mexico and to develop a fisheries analysis. Hiring them was a great decision, the team organized a meeting with our internal staff, developed a timeline and clear deliverables and then got to work quickly and efficiently. MFE produced excellent, comprehensive economic analyses and went above and beyond with this work. They have subsequently produced 2 peer-review papers which have benefited our outreach and funding streams immensely."

    Mariana Walther Mendoza

    Gulf of California Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy

  • "We had the pleasure to work with MarFishEco as part of the revision of the Capture Fisheries Standard (CFS). MFE did a deep dive into the Resource Management section of Fair Trade USA’s fisheries standard, focusing on identifying ways to improve the requirements around governance, overfishing, and data collection. Additionally, MFE evaluated how to expand the scope of applicability of the CFS to include freshwater fisheries, and additional considerations for enhanced fisheries. Their recommendations and final report were key to finalizing the Draft CFS for public consultation. Working with MFE was great. They were efficient, very thorough in their reviews, and went above and beyond what was asked to make sure the deliverables were exactly what we were looking for. I look forward to working with MFE again on future projects!"

    Juliana Herrera

    Seafood Standards Manager, Fair Trade USA

  • "Working with the MarFishEco team was a great experience. In collaboration with our in-house team, MFE was tasked with reviewing the current state of best practices in fisheries gear trials and helping to organize a stakeholder workshop to discuss the formation of best practice guidelines. Following the report MFE produced for us, we contracted them a gain to help develop an online tool that can be used to calculate the financial consequences of changing or modifying fishing gears. Both the report and the tool are of an excellent quality and exactly what we were looking for. I look forward to collaborating with the MFE team again in the near future."

    Hazel Curtis

    Chief Economist, Seafish Industry Authority

  • "China Dialogue Trust commissioned MarFishEco to write a report examining the editorial outputs of a two-year project on sustainable seafood. Andrew analysed a large collection of articles, web statistics and workshop events to provide an objective assessment of our reporting efforts and how these explain China’s role in the global ocean. There was clear planning and communication of objectives from the start. The team was fast and extremely communicative, enjoyable to work with and committed himself to delivering against a really tight schedule. They provided direction where necessary and were also totally open to any feedback or changes. Their knowledge of the fishing industry, policy and governance was a big asset and greatly added to the quality of the report."

    Jessica Aldred

    Special Projects Editor, China Dialogue

  • "Working with MarFishEco was an absolute pleasure. The team generated highly-technical comments on potential fisheries impacts from offshore wind development in California in an exceedingly short timeframe. Andrew was inquisitive, pro-active, and incredibly responsive to feedback and follow-up questions. Not only did MarFishEco deliver scientific expertise, they were a delight to work with, advancing the project cheerfully and professionally. I look forward to working with MarFishEco again."

    Sandy Aylesworth

    Director, Pacific Ocean Initiative, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

  • "I retained Dr. Andrew Johnson and the MFE team to consult in a lawsuit involving an aquaculture stock die-off due to a power outage in Juneau, Wisconsin, USA in 2019. Based on MFE’s extensive experience in aquaculture and their review of published and peer reviewed literature, the MFE team provided data-driven estimates and projections related to expected mortality rates in similarly situated farms and identified the equipment and process weaknesses in the Plaintiff’s operations. MFE’s work led directly to the case resolving without the need for a trial. Andrew and the MFE team was resourceful, available and a pleasure to work with throughout our partnership on the case. Andrew and the MFE are uniquely qualified to act as expert consultants. I have no hesitation recommending MarFishEco to anyone with the need for a true expert in aquaculture."

    Travis J. Rhoades

    Partner, Crivello Law Firm

  • "The Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment contracted MarFishEco Fisheries Consultants Ltd to author a paper on the State of Digital Fisheries in the Commonwealth. We confirm that the team at MFE held itself to the highest standards providing us with value beyond what was expected. MarFishEco’s professionalism and excellence were evident throughout. They delivered a comprehensive report on fisheries digitalisation, thoroughly analysing the state of digital innovation across our regions. Their structured approach and insightful recommendations across digital innovations, data infrastructure, business development, and enabling environments were invaluable. MarFishEco’s expertise and dedication have provided us with critical insights to advance sustainable and equitable fisheries. It is for this reason that we confidently recommend MarFishEco Fisheries Consultants Ltd for assignments that lean towards Fisheries, Digital Fisheries, Market Research and Planning, among others."

    Dr Benjamin Kwasi Addom

    Adviser, Agriculture & Fisheries Trade Policy, Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda


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