In the 16th century, piracy in Mani flourished as a way of profitability and control of shipping routes.
Katoulias was one of the most famous pirates from Mani. Having the island of Proti as his base, he terrorized and ravaged not only all the western coast of Messinia but many other areas as well. At the back of the island of Proti there is still the "Kathulia’s ditch", a large niche on the rocks where the pirate hid his ship so that it would not be visible from the sea and that it could unbush the other ships.
The action of the pirates forced the inhabitants of the seaside settlements to be transported to the mainland and to establish the town of Gargaliani on a mountain plateau that was not seen by the sea but also functioned as a natural observatory.
With the establishment of the new Greek state, Ioannis Kapodistrias rooted out the piracy in the region.
Many myths accompany pirate Katoulias, while some say that his treasure is still hidden somewhere at his base, on the island of Prioti.