October 15, 2010

She's giving swordfish a good name – hers

Maine author and fishing boat skipper Linda Greenlaw is using her fame to spread the word that at least one Atlantic fish stock is doing OK.

Jonathan Hemmerdinger, Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Nabil Sibouih, an assistant seafood manager at Hannaford, helps regular swordfish customer Carol McCracken of Portland pick a swordfish steak from Linda Greenlaw’s catch.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Nathaniel Sheedy cuts a swordfish steak from a 223-pound fish branded by Linda Greenlaw.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

Mitchell also shipped Greenlaw's swordfish to restaurants such as Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills, Victoria & Albert's near Orlando, and Alex at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel.

Mitchell said North Atlantic swordfish stocks were in trouble about 10 years ago, when many more boats were targeting the species. Back then, the fish being caught were generally small, in the 50- to 70-pound range.

Concerns about overfishing led the public to stop buying swordfish, Mitchell said. That led wholesalers to stop buying it, and the swordfish market collapsed.

In recent years, North Atlantic swordfish populations have rebounded, because of fishing regulations and fewer boats targeting the species, Mitchell said.

"The fishery rebuilt itself," he said.

Fish caught these days typically weigh 170 to 250 pounds.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the government agency that manages U.S. fisheries, North Atlantic swordfish populations are fully rebuilt and aren't being overfished.

Still, Greenlaw said, the public is "grossly misinformed."

Ciocca, the Hannah Boden's part-owner, agreed.

"There are all kinds of public perceptions in America that are wrong, and seafood is one of the major ones," he said. "The public still perceives that swordfish are overfished."

The Hannah Boden is one of the first sword boats to operate out of Portland in many years; the few boats that fished through the lean years docked in Massachusetts ports such as Gloucester and Fairhaven.

Greenlaw is glad that swordfishing has returned to Portland's docks, and is happy to have returned to the water.

"I am loving being back swordfishing," she said. "It is what I love to do."

Greenlaw said the deals with Hannaford and Mitchell have benefited the Hannah Boden's crew. Prices paid for fish have been too low for years, she said, but the new partnerships are "making a difference."


This story was revised at 12:32 p.m.. Friday, Oct. 15, 2010, to reflect that the majority owner of the sword boat Hannah Boden is Jon Williams of Westport Island. Williams and Hannah Boden's other part-owner, Angelo Ciocca, have owned the boat for 11 years.




Jonathan Hemmerdinger can be reached at 791-6316 or at:



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Additional Photos

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Browne Trading Company sells Greenlaw Swordfish. Hannaford Supermarkets also carry the Maine author’s brand of swordfish.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Linda Greenlaw

Press Herald file photo


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