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Sponge Fishing, the traditional occupation of Kalymnos

Life  and  culture  of  Kalymnos  from  antiquity  until  today  has  always  been  connected  to  the  sponge fishing  and  thatís  why  Kalymnos  was  named ęThe  sponge-diversí  islandĽ.

The sponge has not just been a wealth-producing source that gave the island vigour, it also made Kalymnians travel in the Mediterranean with caiques, get to know nations and cultures and return to their island full of experience and knowledge.

The radical turning point of the Kalymnian society and economy in relation to the sea is characteristic of the19th century. Kalymnians fished sponges in the waters of the Aegean Sea, at the coasts of Asia Minor and Syria. They used the traditional ways of sponge fishing (skantali, harpoon).

                               

 The first sponge-divers didnít have a uniform or any technician support.

 They dived in the sea naked and depended on their breathing

   In 1840 the first sponge-divers went to Egypt while in the same year the first sponge fishing firms were organised in Venice and London.

                                  

Kalymnians freighted ships from Leros and Samos

 that transported the sponge-diversí boats to Eastern Mediterranean.

 At that time the island   possessed 42% of the sponge-fishing

fleet of the south Sporades.

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Tour Sponge Fishing Climbing Tradition Sights Museums History Excursions Map Accommodation

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