CAIRO: The Tunisian Coast Guard arrested 14 Egyptian fishermen for illegally fishing within Tunisia’s territorial waters, Ahmed Nassar, head of the Fishermen Syndicate was quoted by Youm7 Sunday.
The fishermen, originally from Delta’s governorate of Kafr el-Sheikh, were on board a boat named “Abu Hamada,” said Nassar.
“The fishermen departed Rosetta strait ten days ago. They were arrested after Tunisian coast guards opened fire on them before they were taken to Tunisia’s Mediterranean city of Sfax,” said Nassar.
He denied claims the fishermen were fishing in Tunisian territorial waters.
“They have not breached Tunisia’s water as the fishing area where they were arrested is a trans-boundary waters,” he added.
Nassar called on the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to intervene to release the arrested fishermen.
Dozens of Egyptian fishermen have been arrested by coast guards in Sudan, Libya and Tunisia in similar incidents; many were successfully released and returned home, while others are facing trials.
In late February a group of 15 Egyptian fishermen were released after being detained for eight months in Libya. They were arrested by an Islamist Libyan armed group, according to previous statements by Nassar.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned fishermen against working in the territorial waters of neighboring countries with armed conflicts and not to pursue any activities in their territorial waters without prior permission.