|New Zealanders Peter and Donna Simunovich are
majority owners of a company which has been granted a quota allowing a super
trawler to fish off Australia..|
New Zealand fishing industry siblings are majority owners of a firm behind a controversial super trawler wanting to fish 18,000 tonnes of fish off the coast of Australia.
Peter and Donna Simunovich own most of Seafish Tasmania, which has controlling interest in a joint venture using the trawler Margiris - the second largest of its kind in the world - which arrived at a South Australian port on Thursday.
Seafish Tasmania intends to use Margiris to fish for 18,000 tonnes of redbait and mackerel, a quota the company says has been backed by a group of eminent marine scientists.
However, Greenpeace has been calling on the Australian government to refuse to grant a fishing license to the ship as it has the potential to "decimate" fish stocks and kill other marine life, including seals and dolphins.
New Zealand Greenpeace spokesman Steve Abel says the Simunovich's are "bringing shame on New Zealand" by funding the super trawler which he calls a "death ship".
Speaking through an employee at Simunovich Fishing Company in Auckland, Mr Simunovich told NZ Newswire he did not want to comment.
Spokesman for Seafish Tasmania, Mike Lester, told NZ Newswire he thought it was "despicable" that Greenpeace would attack someone personally over an issue.
He says the quota the company has been granted has been backed by a group of eminent marine scientists, although issues over by-catch have been raised in some studies.
Greenpeace is calling on the Australian and New Zealand governments to ban the use of super trawlers and members of the group have been trying to stop Margiris from entering Australian waters.
A complaint by Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie about the fishing quota granted to Seafish Tasmania has resulted in a Commonwealth Ombudsman's investigation