Monday, June 13, 2016

Cuban fishing competition to be attended by record US boats

The United States, with 90 vessels, will have the largest representation at the 66th Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament on June 13-18 in Cuba, organizers confirmed on Sunday.

Around a hundred crews from nine countries will participate in the tournament which makes this edition the most widely-attended in history, said Francisco Diaz, from the organizing committee.

Apart from the boats from the United States, vessels from Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain and host Cuba, will also participate to achieve the highest number of registrations to date. The highest number so far was obtained in 1979 when 85 boats competed, 70 of them from the US.

The tournament will begin on Monday with the traditional captains meeting and the fishing days will take place on June 14, 15 and 17 while the 16th will be a day of rest for the crews. The closing ceremony will take place on June 18.

The teams have to catch billfishes, such as swordfish, using the tag-and-release method, to promote the preservation of the Cuban marine habitat, which has been advocated since the beginning of the tournament over 60 years ago.

Started at the beginning of the 1950s by US author and winner of the 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature, Ernest Hemingway, the Hemingway Tournament stands out among the oldest of its kind. It is only preceded by the Tuna World Cup, in Nova Scotia, and the Shad Fishing Tournament in Mexico.

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