The commitment follows recommendations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program, which are are science-based, peer reviewed and use ecosystem-based criteria.
This is the first step in reaching the Mars Petcare global commitment to use only sustainably sourced fish by 2020, according to the Nashville, Tenn.-based company. Sheba will use only farmed or wild-caught fish from environmentally responsible sources.
Kicking off the brand's sustainability journey, Sheba currently offers five varieties of responsibly sourced whitefish, tuna and seafood options, and by the end of 2013, all the recipes -- including salmon -- will meet the Seafood Watch recommendations.
"We understand the importance of our ingredient-sourcing choices and how they can make a positive impact on the environment," said Tina Garcia, marketing services director, Mars Petcare US. "By using responsibly-sourced fish for our Sheba entrees, we have made it easy for pet owners to shop with confidence and to reward the most environmentally responsible fishing practices."
This is the latest milestone in the company's long-term sustainability journey. In March 2010, the global petcare segment of Mars made a commitment to use only sustainably sourced fish by 2020.
As global fish stocks continue to decline, the company aims to achieve the following milestones across its entire pet care portfolio by 2020 including only using fish from 100% sustainable wild catch and sustainable aquaculture sources, replacing all wild catch whole fish and fish fillet with sustainable fish byproducts and sustainable aquaculture and only using sustainable alternatives to marine fish ingredients.
Oceans are still under global threat as issues such as an increased demand for seafood, unsustainable fishing, and fish-farming practices threaten fragile ecosystems, according to the company. Mars Petcare and the Sheba brand are making it a priority to have a positive impact on the protection of the world's oceans and act as a catalyst for the market by working with organizations like Monterey Bay Aquarium.