Food & drink
Lampuki season is officially open! It’s time to sample Malta’s best-loved fish
Pretty soon, you’ll start seeing lampuki appear on the specials boards of restaurants across the islands.

Sarah Micallef

Malta’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Rights, Anton Refalo, has officially announced the start of lampuki season on the islands! Not familiar with Malta’s favourite fish? You don’t know what you’re missing! Allow us to get you up to speed… 

What is lampuki season?

The season for lampuki (also known in English as dolphin fish, dorado or mahi-mahi) typically starts in mid-August, and represents a long-standing tradition among Malta’s fishing families.

Pretty soon, you’ll start seeing lampuki appear on the specials boards of restaurants across the islands, where it will remain a staple right through to the end of the year. The fish is also commonly found in several traditional Maltese dishes, including lampuki pie, aljotta (fish soup) or simply seasoned and cooked al cartoccio.

 An age-old tradition 

What makes lampuki season – and fishing for lampuki – so special however, is the unique methods which local fishermen use to catch the celebrated fish: a special technique known as kannizzatti, which has remained unchanged for generations.

The method sees the fishermen make use of specially made polystyrene floats which are coated in palm fronds and anchored down by heavy slabs of local limestone. Seeking shade during the hottest parts of the day, the lampuki gather under these fronds, where the fishermen will be waiting, ready to cast their nets.

Kicking off the season

As with most things in Malta, tradition dictates that the start of the season be kicked off with a healthy dose of pomp and ceremony, so, a few days before 15th August – the first day the fishermen go out in search of lampuki – the season is heralded in by mass, celebrated on the Marsaxlokk waterfront by the local parish priest. The priest then proceeds to board a small boat, which sails out into the bay to bless every luzzu and its crew, before they embark on their fishing mission.

From all of us here at GuideMeMalta.com, we wish all the lampuki fishermen the best of luck for a successful haul! We’ll be eagerly awaiting your return!


Sarah Micallef
Written by
Sarah Micallef
A keen traveller with an interest in most things, Sarah loves her island home as much as she loves getting away from it, and enjoys discovering and re-discovering the gems, hidden corners and unique stories of her native Malta and Gozo.

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