‘Deadliest Catch’ Survives To Kick Off Season 17

Regardless of all of the challenges of the final yr, Deadliest Catch is again for a 17th yr. This yr, Discovery’s reality TV show follows eight boats within the Alaskan king crab fishing fleet as they battle the weather, a world pandemic, worries about sustainability, and, as at all times, one another.

“The season nonetheless had accidents, waves, and climate—we had a whole lot of ice come down from Russia,” says Sig Hansen, the captain of the F/V Northwestern, who has been on the present because the starting. “However, COVID was the most important hurdle and impediment we’ve confronted as a fleet, but.”

Discovery Sig Hansen
Captain Hansen again on the helm. courtesy Discovery

The present, streaming now on discovery+ and premiering on the Discovery channel on April 20, opens with the boats roped up in harbor. However already the fishermen are careworn.

The worldwide pandemic prevented the Alaska Division of Fish and Recreation from performing its common summer time crab surveys used to set a quota. With out them, the fishermen haven’t any intel on the place the crab are and, much more importantly, any sense of the well being of the inhabitants. The principles dictate that if the fleet doesn’t catch its allocation, the fishery should shut for 2 years. And with most of the common fishing boats caught in Seattle, unable to make it to the Alaska waters due to quarantine guidelines, the problem of catching the quota appeared daunting.

“A shutdown was an actual chance and it was a scary thought for us,” says Hansen.

That risk put much more strain on an already lethal job. Alaskan crab fishing is essentially the most harmful occupation within the U.S., in accordance with the Bureau of Labour Statistics, with 300 fatalities per 100,000 staff. Working within the Bering Sea because the season shifts from fall to winter, daylight dwindles, storms rage, seas construct and shifts drag on to 18 hours or extra, the most important risks are drowning and hypothermia, however accidents are widespread too.

Deadliest Catch
courtesy Discovery

Hansen says the character of the job is massive a part of the present’s longevity—Deadliest Catch ranks among the many prime 15 longest operating actuality TV reveals.

“I feel individuals actually respect the work ethic,” he says. “They usually’re impressed by the risk and reward and the struggles we undergo. It’s not a 9-to-5 job.”

The present has at all times centered on that dynamic, and has gotten much more polished in displaying it, whereas retaining the uncooked really feel of trying backstage. This season, the digicam crews spotlight the camaraderie between the captains and crews greater than previously.

“Yeah we’re going to compete and lie to one another,” Hansen says. “However on the finish of the day there’s a mutual respect. If somebody wants show you how to’re going to assist, even when it’s your mortal enemy. {Our relationships} are a lot deeper than individuals understand, or we even understand ourselves.”

That could be extra essential after this season. The controversial documentary Seaspiracy is elevating questions in regards to the sustainability and ethics of business fishing globally. Hansen admits the king crab fishery used to overfish. However at the moment, “it’s all about sustainability,” he says. “We wish the crabs there for future generations.”

That’s a private purpose for Hansen. A part of Season 17’s storyline is his personal transition into retirement, together with his daughter Mandy edging into the captain’s chair.

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Season 17 follows Mandy Hansen into the captain’s chair. courtesy Discovery

“She’s pondering on her personal and making judgement calls,” he says. “Typically she undermines me.”

He gained’t say when Mandy may take over the boat or how for much longer the sequence will proceed. All he’ll say is that the guts of what makes it compelling tv isn’t going anyplace.

“There’s just one technique to catch crab,” he says. “We’re at all times going to do it in the identical, very prehistoric, method.”

Deadliest Catch premieres Tuesday, April 20 at eight p.m. EST on Discovery and is streaming now on discovery+

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