Havana, June 14 (IANS) Fishing enthusiasts from 10 countries and regions converged on Cuba for the opening of the 66th Ernest Hemingway international billfishing tournament here.
This year’s competition was set “to be the most attended edition” ever, the organiser of the event, Commodore Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich, told Cuban news agency Prensa Latina (PL) on Monday.
Diaz, who heads the Hemingway Yacht Club at Havana’s Hemingway Marina, said some 80 boats were competing, mostly from the United States but also from Italy, France, Spain and other countries and regions, reports Xinhua.
Restored diplomatic ties between Cuba and the US have encouraged more American teams to participate in the event.
Americans first took part in the tournament in 2015 after an absence of 35 years following the two governments’ decision to normalise ties.
The competition “is one of the oldest tournaments of its kind and was founded by the American writer, who lived more than 20 years in Cuba,” the agency added.
Competitors use the so-called “tag and release” method approved by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) to which Cuba belongs, to protect the species and ecosystem.