‘Deadliest Catch’ Survives COVID To Kick Off Season 17

Robert S. Hays

Even with all the difficulties of the final year, Deadliest Capture is back for a 17th year. This 12 months, Discovery’s actuality Television clearly show follows eight boats in the Alaskan king crab fishing fleet as they battle the factors, a worldwide pandemic, worries about sustainability, and, as usually, every single other.

“The period however had accidents, waves, and weather—we had a large amount of ice arrive down from Russia,” claims Sig Hansen, the captain of the F/V Northwestern, who has been on the show because the commencing. “But, COVID was the most significant hurdle and impediment we have faced as a fleet, still.”

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

The exhibit, streaming now on discovery+ and premiering on the Discovery channel on April 20, opens with the boats roped up in harbor. But by now the fishermen are stressed.

The world pandemic prevented the Alaska Office of Fish and Match from executing its common summer season crab surveys made use of to set a quota. Without the need of them, the fishermen have no intel on where the crab are and, even more importantly, any perception of the wellbeing of the population. The guidelines dictate that if the fleet does not capture its allocation, the fishery need to near for two a long time. And with lots of of the usual fishing boats caught in Seattle, unable to make it to the Alaska waters mainly because of quarantine policies, the challenge of catching the quota seemed daunting.

“A shutdown was a serious chance and it was a terrifying assumed for us,” suggests Hansen.

That risk set even much more pressure on an presently fatal career. Alaskan crab fishing is the most unsafe occupation in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labour Data, with 300 fatalities for every 100,000 workers. Functioning in the Bering Sea as the time shifts from fall to winter, daylight dwindles, storms rage, seas build and shifts drag on to 18 hours or a lot more, the most significant potential risks are drowning and hypothermia, but accidents are frequent also.

Deadliest Catch
courtesy Discovery

Hansen states the mother nature of the task is big part of the show’s longevity—Deadliest Capture ranks among the top rated 15 longest operating fact Television set exhibits.

“I imagine persons definitely appreciate the do the job ethic,” he says. “And they are encouraged by the chance and reward and the struggles we go as a result of. It’s not a 9-to-5 occupation.”

The show has often centered on that dynamic, and has gotten a large amount extra polished in showing it, while retaining the uncooked come to feel of on the lookout guiding the curtain. This season, the digital camera crews spotlight the camaraderie among the captains and crews a lot more than in the earlier.


“Yeah we’re likely to contend and lie to each and every other,” Hansen states. “But at the close of the working day there’s a mutual respect. If somebody needs help you are likely to assistance, even if it is your mortal enemy. Our interactions are so significantly further than persons realize, or we even realize ourselves.”

That may well be additional crucial after this season. The controversial documentary Seaspiracy is elevating inquiries about the sustainability and ethics of business fishing globally. Hansen admits the king crab fishery used to overfish. But currently, “it’s all about sustainability,” he claims. “We want the crabs there for long run generations.”

That’s a particular purpose for Hansen. Aspect of Year 17’s storyline is his own transition into retirement, with his daughter Mandy edging into the captain’s chair.

discovery Deadliest Catch
Year 17 follows Mandy Hansen into the captain’s chair. courtesy Discovery

“She’s considering on her very own and making judgement phone calls,” he suggests. “Sometimes she undermines me.”

He won’t say when Mandy may consider more than the boat or how considerably for a longer time the collection will continue. All he’ll say is that the heart of what can make it persuasive tv is not going anyplace.

“There’s only a person way to capture crab,” he says. “We’re constantly going to do it in the very same, very prehistoric, way.”


Deadliest Catch premieres Tuesday, April 20 at 8 p.m. EST on Discovery and is streaming now on discovery+


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