Why Do Fisherman Want Palm Fronds?

My DinnerWhile my parents were visiting last month, they spotted fishermen loading palm fronds into their small fishing boats before heading out. They later asked me what they used them for. I had no idea.

Today, coincidentally, I learned why they need the palm fronds. Can you guess?

UPDATE: Filmgoerjuan did not guess, but he found the correct answer nonetheless. The fish in the photo is called a lampuki. From Wikipedia:

Fishermen cut and gather the larger, lower fronds from palm trees which they then weave into large flat rafts. The rafts are pulled out to sea with small boats. During midday lampuki school underneath the rafts, seeking the shade. The fishermen use large mesh nets to catch the schooling lampuki. The fishing method has not changed significantly since Roman times.

Here’s a Geocities page with some photos of fishermen weaving the rafts together.

That said, I also really like Heather’s idea about pirate hats. “Arrrr! Where be the lampuki?”


  1. Well, in some places, they use palm fronds for building and repairing boats, for catching fish (netting), making ropes and providing shade. They may also use them for lining the boat or protecting fresh fish. In some cultures, palm fronds are used for just about every aspect of fishing. But I don’t know what they do in Malta. Perhaps it is related to Playmobil toys.

  2. Maltese fisherman are skilled at weaving palm fronds into life-sized models of fish.

    They then attach them to lines and drag them behind their boats and head for the shore.

    Mediterrean fish (not being the brightest in the piscean world) follow the decoy fish and when the fishermen pull their boats up on the shore, the fish follow them.

    The fishermen then simply scoop the beached fish off the sand and head straight for the market.

  3. Palm fronds are laid on or near the beach and fish are laid on them to dry without getting covered in dirt or sand.

  4. The fishermen weave the fronds into rafts which are then floated in the water. The fish gather under the shade of the raft and the fishermen are able to surround them and scoop them up with nets.

    It’s called Google, people 😉

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