PORTLAND – Linda Greenlaw piloted her boat into Portland Harbor on Wednesday, capping a three-month swordfish season marked by an unusual partnership that put her branded catch on ice in one of Maine’s largest supermarket chains.

A welcome home celebration, open to the public, will be held for Greenlaw and the crew of the Hannah Boden from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Custom House Wharf.

Greenlaw, the boat’s captain and a best-selling author, said the season was successful overall, but the final trip was relatively slow.

“This time of year they migrate,” Greenlaw said. “The fish decided to take off.”

Greenlaw estimated that the crew landed 10,000 pounds of swordfish this trip. An excellent trip will net 35,000 pounds.

The Hannah Boden is majority-owned by Jon Williams of Westport Island and minority-owned by Angelo Ciocca of Nova Seafood in Portland.

Greenlaw and the Hannah Boden’s owners partnered with Hannaford, whose supermarkets are selling and promoting Greenlaw-branded swordfish.

Rod Mitchell of Browne Trading Co. in Portland is also selling Greenlaw swordfish. He expects to buy 1,500 pounds to sell to restaurants.

Buyers purchase swordfish from the boat for $7 to $12 per pound, depending on market conditions, said Mitchell.

Mitchell, Hannaford and Greenlaw said their partnerships eliminate middlemen and leave extra money for the crew. The crew’s first catch, about 34,000 pounds, sold briskly in about a week in September, Hannaford has said.

Greenlaw said she hopes the partnership will also tell the public that swordfish stocks are healthy.

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.

Most of the fish were caught more than 1,000 miles east of Portland, on the Grand Banks, where the cold Labrador Current collides with the warm Gulf Stream. The temperature variation attracts fish.

Greenlaw said that being on shore after three months at sea takes some adjustment. For instance, when she walks on the sidewalk, she tries to pass people port-to-port, like boats passing at sea.

“I try to put people on my left side,” she said. “Not everyone cooperates.”

Greenlaw has written several books, including “The Lobster Chronicles,” and appeared in the Discovery Channel’s show “Swords: Life on the Line.”

She said she will write a sequel to “The Lobster Chronicles” this winter and complete a second cookbook with her mother. Greenlaw plans to return to swordfishing next summer.S

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

[email protected]


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