The 66th Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament, is the most popular edition to date. Photo:

From June 14, anglers from nine countries will be looking to win the 66th Ernest Hemingway International Billfishing Tournament, the most popular edition to date.

Ninety-three boats will navigate Cuban waters in an attempt to catch the biggest fish. This figure exceeds the previous record set in 1979, which saw 85 yachts compete.

During the customary Captains’ Meeting held at press time, Domingo Cisneros, president of the Nautical and Marine Enterprise Group Marlin S.A., highlighted the participation of teams from the United States, Lithuania, Argentina, Russia, the Netherlands, UK, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Italy, Cuba and in particular, France, a regular competitor in the tournament.

With 492 participants, according to Cisneros, the current edition is without a doubt the biggest in the history of the event, which was founded in early 1950 by renowned U.S. writer, Nobel Prize for Literature winner (1954), and author of the novel The old man and the sea, Ernest Hemingway.

Over four days of competition, participants will battle it out to capture the largest billfishes, using the customary tag-and-release method employed since the establishment of the competition, in order to contribute to preserving Cuba’s marine habitats.

According to event organizers, the United States represents the largest number of participants in the current edition.

The competition will also help to promote Cuba as an attractive destination for recreational and adventure tourism, at a time when the industry on the island is experiencing historic growth.

Given its location, Cuba stands out as a highly attractive destination for those interested in sport fishing, connected by various ocean currents which bring a variety of fish species to the island’s waters, while the deep basins and trenches of the Caribbean Sea, Florida Straits and the shores of the Bahamas function as ecological barriers.