<img style="margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px; display: inline; float: left" alt="Author Ernest Hemingway wrote Old Man and the Sea about deep sea fishing off the coast of Cuba.” align=”left” src=”http://images.smh.com.au/2014/09/09/5743843/Article%20Lead%20-%20narrow6112766110e6ee1410264610835.jpg-300×0.jpg” width=”234″ height=”278″>
One of the earliest and most prolific sport fishermen in the Florida Straits, Hemingway may inadvertently have created an unparalleled scientific resource as he prowled some of the world’s richest fishing grounds.
Hemingway assembled thousands of books, photographs and journals, many of which deteriorated over decades of exposure to Cuba’s baking heat and high humidity, and the longstanding neglect of the estate known as Finca Vigia. The logs are now kept by Cuba’s National Cultural Heritage Council which, in order to protect the fragile documents, only allows conservators to handle them.
Fishing logs typically contain details of the numbers of fish caught, the location of the catch and weight of the fish. Hemingway’s obsessive record-keeping, combined with the thousands of hours he spent on the water, have researchers hoping his logs could provide essential details about deep-sea fish populations over the last 75 years in the Straits.