The Italian Almanac

fishing boat

Italian News - September 13

A Sicilian fishing boat and its eight-member crew has been seized by the Libyan navy for allegedly fishing in Libya's waters. The Mediterraneo Primo from Mazara del Vallo in western Sicily was seized overnight while fishing for crayfish and is currently impounded at the Libyan port of Darna.

The crew headed by Captain Salvatore Palermo deny Libya's accusations that they were fishing illegally and insist they were in international waters. The Italian Foreign Ministry has been informed of the incident and is expected to press for the immediate release of the boat and crew.

The city's councillor responsible for fishing issues, Vito Giacalone, said that data from the fishing boat's equipment proved that the boat had been in international waters at the time it was seized. "We can't understand Libya's hostile actions given that the excellent state of relations between Italy and Libya," he said.

Mazara del Vallo Mayor Giorgio Macaddino said that he was following the case and was in contact with the Foreign Ministry. "We hope the Libyans take into account the fact that our fishermen have acted with great courage and humanity over the past few years in saving the lives of countless illegal immigrants who have set out from Libya's shores".