About Pezzy Pets
Pezzy Pets is an Acari Fish brand based in Berkeley, California. At Acari, we're working with small-scale fishermen in Mexico to turn the tide against the hated, invasive "devil fish" or armored catfish. With Pezzy Pets, we're upcycling this naughty lil devil into healthy treats that are beyond sustainable, all while improving livelihoods in fishing communities where we work.
Mexican Devil Fish
The devil fish, or armored catfish, first arrived in Mexico about 20 years ago from its native South America. It now accounts for up to 70% of the freshwater capture in many places, outcompeting native species and in turn decimating the freshwater fishing industry on which tens of thousands of families depend.
Our co-founder Mike came across the devil fish as a fisheries researcher in 2014. He partnered with a chef friend, Lupita, and started giving workshops and cooking demos on the devil fish in rural communities just for fun before eventually partnering with fishermen to start selling devil fish fillet to local restaurants.
The fish's unique meat-like taste and texture inspired them to experiment in the kitchen, with Lupita eventually adding a devil fish burger to her menu. Meanwhile Mike came up with a devil fish jerky and now pet treats to market to the world!
We're a company created by fishermen, for fishermen. For us everything starts with better wages. Our employees earn on average 40% more than in other similar positions across the region and fishermen can double or even triple their daily income through selling us their devil fish by-catch.
Additionally, we've removed over 80 tons of invasive Mexican devil fish from local waters, in turn helping restore native fisheries. This is the fish that we actually WANT to overfish.