When Cuba had been settled by the Spanish, heavy inroads were made into the nearby supply of edible fish, and the Havana fishing interests were forced to look elsewhere for a ready source. Southwestern Florida with its almost inexhaustible schools of drum, redfish, mullet, pompano, and grouper was situated only a short distance away and easily fitted into the Havana market situation. The combination of the excellent Cuban market and the nearby available supply of edible fish proved to be a business opportunity which would be profitable for many years for the inhabitants of both the island of Cuba and the peninsula of Florida.
Covington, James W.
"Trade Relations Between Southwestern Florida and Cuba, 1600-1840,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 38
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol38/iss2/4