Retailers are being urged to pledge their support to a campaign to combat pirate fishing.

The Environmental Justice Foundation this week called on retailers to back its attempts to end the use of flags of convenience, which enable illegal fishing operations to hide their activities.

"You can prevent pirate fishing by supporting our efforts to develop a global record of fishing vessel information, encouraging compliance with EU regulations and maintaining transparent UK production processes," it added.

Urgent action was required to address the escalating problem, it said, claiming pirates were "stealing $10bn to $23bn from our oceans every year". Although the UK industry had improved transparency, it needed to do more to ensure it did not source fish from boats operating illegally.