About Pezzy Pets
We work directly with small-scale fishermen in Mexico and the US to turn the tide against hated, invasive fish. We currently work with the "devil fish" or armored catfish, lionfish and silver carp. We're upcycling these overly abundant, troublesome fish into delectably nutritious treats that are beyond sustainable, all while improving livelihoods in fishing communities where we work.
We are a proud certified B corporation, leveraging the power of business for a better planet. We're based in Berkeley, CA with operations in Kentucky as well as the states of Tabasco and Quintana Roo in Mexico.
Why Invasive Fish?
Our founder Mike previously worked as a fisheries researcher in the US and Mexico where he learned all about invasive fish and their harmful effects on the environment. The term "invasive" is used to describe species that for one reason or another are found in places outside of their normal range. With fish species, this is usually due to the aquarium trade, government programs or ocean freight. Because these fish don't have any natural predators in these new environments, they at times outcompete native species for resources or even turn them into prey!
Mike came across the devil fish or armored catfish in 2014 while working in Tabasco, Mexico. 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.
Mike partnered with a chef friend, Lupita Vidal, 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!
While we launched with just our flagship devil fish strips in 2021, we now offer treats made from the invasive lionfish and silver carp and will continue to add other invasive species in the future!
Having a positive environmental and social impact is in our DNA. 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, silver carp and lionfish by-catch. We've created dozens of new jobs throughout southern Mexico and the Midwest US turning these invasive fish into nutritious, eco-friendly pet snacks.
And to boot, we've removed over 100 tons of invasive fish to date, in turn helping restore native fisheries!