Sicilian fishing vessel with sevenman crew held in Malta with no explanation given
A Sicilian vessel that made port in Malta to refuel was held here by the authorities without an explanation given, according to reports in the Italian media.
The fishing vessel ‘Matte Mazzarino,’ from Mazara del Vallo, entered the Grand Harbour on Sunday and was held for a number of days. The case was brought to the attention of the Italian ambassador to Malta and Parliamentary Secretary Roderick Galdes, it is being claimed.
“The vessel had entered port for a simple bunkering operation but the fishing boat and its seven-man crew were detained for unknown reasons.”
After two days of waiting in vain for word about their detainment the crew spoke to an Italian fisheries official, who was in Brussels. Eventually politicians became involved, including Italian Ambassador to Malta Giovanni Umberto De Vito, who contacted Roderick Galdes, the Parliamentary Secretary responsible for fishing.
According to the reports this was a complicated affair involving people in Mazara, Malta, Palermo, Rome and Brussels but a solution was finally found.
The Italian side has struggled to understand why the vessel was detained, especially in the absence of any charges. The incident was described as ‘anomalous’ and one that caused unwanted trouble to the Sicilian fishermen.