Cuba denies access to Ernest Hemingway's fishing records
Team of US marine scientists on a tour with the author's grandsons
SAM MASTERS Sunday 14 September 2014
A quest to access potentially invaluable fishing logs kept by Ernest
Hemingway in Cuba appeared to have failed yesterday, after US
researchers attempting to gain knowledge of over-fishing were denied
access to the materials collated by the Nobel Prize-winning author.
A team of US marine scientists on a tour with the author's grandsons,
John and Patrick Hemingway, had hoped to access the his logs of fishing
in the Florida Straight.
"He was a fisherman," said Patrick Hemingway of his grandfather last
week. "He considered them his brothers."
But Cuba's National Cultural Heritage Council denied the team access to
the records. And yesterday they were reported to have returned home
"Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman," wrote Hemingway in his ode
to game fishing off the Cuba coast, The Old Man and the Sea. "But that
was the thing that I was born for."
Dr David Die, a US-based fishery scientist, said: "Hemingway was there
in Cuba for 20 years. If he did keep log books for that long, having 20
years – even if it is only for a single vessel – would be very valuable.
"It would be a record of relative changes in the size and the abundance
of fish over a period where we do not have any other records. It's
exactly the type of information that we use nowadays when we assess
populations of fish in the ocean."
The logs are thought to contain enough details about Hemingway's decades
of game fishing to help measure how populations of sport fish such as
marlin have declined because of overfishing.
Researchers gathered little empirical data in the years before
industrial fishing devastated populations of tuna and other highly
desired big species in the second half of the 20th century.
Hemingway lived in Cuba from 1939 to 1960 at Finca Vigía, a villa in the
village of San Francisco de Paula on the southeast edge of Havana. From
Cojimar, he often launched his boat, the Pilar, with first mate Gregorio
Fuentes, who helped inspire the ageing fisherman who battles a giant
marlin in The Old Man and the Sea.
Source: Cuba denies access to Ernest Hemingway's fishing records -
Americas - World - The Independent -