With lampuki (dolphin-fish) season just around the corner, the government is giving out palm fonds for free to fishermen.
During a meeting with fishermen in St. Paul’s Bay, Fisheries Minister Anton Refalo said that this initiative by the Department of Fisheries provided reassurance to fishermen who would have enough palm fronds to prepare their rafts (kannizati).
Final preparations are underway for the dorado or dolphin-fish season which officially opens on the 15th of August.
Once again, this year one hundred and twenty-two fishermen’s livelihoods will be facilitated when they are provided with a palm frond. Dennis Calleja who has been working as a fisherman for at least fifteen years explained why palm leaves are essential in dolphin-fishing.
” In fishing we use the raft, we tie the palm frond to the raft so that the fish stays underneath the palm for shelter. ”
He said palm pruning was difficult because fishermen could not catch and cut palm fonds from the roads.
Fisheries department director Alicia Said said more than fifteen thousand palm leaves had been cut from 800 trees.
“We make the job of the fisherman easier because they have a lot of preparation work, they have to prepare the rafts, the nylon and all the fishing paraphernalia, and they have to look for palm leaves to be able to work.”
The Minister responsible for Fisheries, Anton Refalo, said this was another way the government was assisting fishermen in their work.
“Before we used to collect palm trees from public places but today we go to private and companies and private entities, even individuals who offer and we carried out general pruning to acquire palms for fishermen.”
The Minister explained that care and attention was also being given to the palm-tree whose leaves were being cut off so that it will not be attacked by bumblebees that has wreaked damage to palm trees in previous years.