The fishing technique with the use of “cannizzi” is an ancient method that involves the creation of shaded spaces in the open sea where fish, in particular  a species of fish called “capone”, go to lurk, taking refuge from predators. The fish therefore gather under floating platforms, precisely the “cannizzi”, which are attached to weights placed in the seabed, so that they are not dragged by currents.

A fishing boat places its floating platforms offshore in the afternoon and the following morning, around 4.00 am, with a small team of fishermen on board catches the fishes, with a purse seine (traditional net), that have taken refuge in the darkness. This procedure is repeated for each cannizzo that is encountered along the way.

In ancient times the fishermen intent on fishing for caponi went in search of “lost things” (cose perse): floating wrecks or deposited in the seabed generally abandoned by large ships (platforms, pieces of tops, etc.) as they passed. According to the same principle of the search for shelter from predators, the fishes went, in fact, to take refuge under these objects. The search required a lot of time and energy, as it proceeded by trial and error. For about 30 years now, the use of cannizzi to attract capons has spread, and this technique has been passed down through the generations. Fishermen collected bamboo reeds (which give rise to the etymology of the term “cannizzo”) which were tied to build a floating platform, similar to a raft. The reeds were later replaced by palm leaves. Both of these natural elements, however, had the disadvantage of becoming soaked with water, and therefore of becoming heavier and sinking after a long soaking period; so after about a month or 40 days they had to be replaced by new bamboo or palm tops. For this reason, in more recent times, while keeping the same name, the reeds and palms have been replaced by synthetic sheets, attached to floating pieces of cork. This type of tool is easier to make and transport and is more durable over time.