Ukraine unrest worries Sealord
The political crisis in Ukraine is causing anxiety among crews on three large factory trawlers working for Nelson-based Sealord.
The company uses three ships flagged to Ukraine with crews flown in from the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
Crimea, which is part of Ukraine, is home to the Russian navy's Black Sea fleet and its people have close ties with Russia.
Following riots in Kiev, Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych was last week deposed and is reputedly hiding near Sevastopol.
Crimea itself is said to be on the verge of a potentially violent separation from Ukraine.
A Sealord spokeswoman said the situation was of concern for the crews on the Nelson-based ships Professor Mykhaylo Aleksandrov, Alexander Buryachenko and Ivan Golubets.
She said crews were being encouraged to use satellite phones to contact their families and Sealord was offering any other support they needed.
"There is obviously some concern," she said.
"We're talking with the crews on a daily basis and where possible have offered the opportunity for people to return if they need to, and if this can be worked out operationally."