200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 25: “Ernest Hemingway's Fish ”

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photo of Ernest Hemingway with two marlins
Ernest Hemingway: Ewell Sale Stewart Library & Archives Coll. 707.

Ernest Hemingway's Fish

In 1934, Academy Managing Director Charles M.B. Cadwalader requested the aid of writer and skilled fisherman Ernest Hemingway for an important research project in Cuban waters. The Academy's Chief Ichthyologist, Henry W. Fowler, headed the Gulf Stream Marine Test of 1934–35, and Hemingway, who had become an Academy member in 1929, jumped at the chance to assist.

The research project studied the life histories, migrations, and classifications of Atlantic marlin, tuna, and sailfish. In August 1934, Fowler, Cadwalader, and Hemingway spent a month on Hemingway's boat the Pilar, catching, measuring, and classifying numerous catches. Correspondence between Cadwalader and Hemingway after the trip illustrates that the latter party's assistance enabled Fowler to more accurately classify the marlin of the Atlantic Ocean. More than 40 letters between Cadwalader, Fowler, and Hemingway are housed in the Academy's Archives, and the Academy's Ichthyology Collection houses several of Hemingway's game fish specimens.

Learn more about the Academy's Ichthyology research at ansp.org.

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