The fishing boats Matteo Mazzarino and Afrodite have left the Libyan port of Ras Al Hilal at 11:30 pm local time after being released and are now travelling towards Greece, in safer fishing areas, said Vincenzo Asaro, the ship owner of the Matteo Mazzarino of the company Mcv pesca. The boat on Tuesday night was seized in international waters, some 30 miles from the Libyan coasts of Derna, with another boat from Mazara, the Afrodite Pesca, of the company by the same name of the Pellegrino brothers. Thirteen fishermen, some from Sicily and others from Tunisia, were on board. Asaro thanked ”those who, at all levels, worked for the release of the fishing boats and in particular the mayor of Mazara del Vallo, Nicola Cristaldi, and the Consulate in Libya”.
Nino Carlino, the president of the local fishing district and production, expressed confidence in the government and diplomatic authorities, thanking them for being ”close to the fishermen”.
Premier Giuseppe Conte announced overnight that the boats had been released. ”I have just received confirmation that the two fishing boats Matteo Mazzarino and Afrodite Pesca, seized Wednesday by Libyan military units, were authorized to return to Italy. We never left them alone and have constantly worked to solve the situation”, he said.