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  Sponge Fishing, diving and sponge divers

It was the first time they were fishing in Beggazi and the production was 75 tons.

Then bigger ships were constructed,

the «ahtarmades».

    The industrial revolution in sponge fishing began in 1866-69 with the gradual application of diving suits (skafandro).

The uniform gave the diver the possibility to dive in deep waters,

to remain at the bottom of the sea for a long time,

to select the sponges and to be very productive.

    The dangers, however, were very serious especially during the process of slow emergence for the readjustment of the circulatory system of the organism, because otherwise the diver was affected by a disease known as “ the sponge-diver’s disease”, which causes partial or total paralysis, even death.

                                    

The reactions of the islanders were negative from the beginning.

They even destroyed the first diving suit that came to the island.

 

But the prevalence of the “machines” was inevitable, as there was an enormous demand for sponges in Europe and it was impossible to stop the technical development.

The three diving suits of 1869 increased to sixty-two, ten years later.

However, their extensive use caused hecatombs of victims because of the ignorance of the rules of emergence and the tough working conditions.

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