‘Deadliest Catch’: How Josh Harris Got to ‘Swap Roles’ When His Brother Joined the Boat

by Taylor Cunningham

Deadliest Catch returns tonight for its 18th season. And among a few changes, fans will notice a new cast member, Shane Harris—captain Josh Harris’ once estranged brother.

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Josh revealed that Shane joined the crew of the Cornelia Marie. For years, the two had been at odds. But when their father, Deadliest Catch Captain Phil Harris, passed away in 2010, the brothers reconnected over their shared grief.

According to Josh, Shane tried his hand at fishing in the past, but he never enjoyed it. So, he moved on with his life and opened a company that Josh said was “doing quite well.” However, Josh managed to “bamboozle” his brother into helping aboard the Cornelia Marie.

“It’s really hard to find good help in this day and age,” he noted.  

Interestingly, for Josh, hiring his brother changed the dynamics of their once struggling relationship. And fans will get to see how that plays out over the course of the season.

“We got to swap roles,” he said. “I became the older-younger brother.”

Josh did note that some things will never change. For example, Shane is still bigger and stronger, so he’ll never be able to “beat him up” or “outrun him.” But he did get to experience being Shane’s “boss,” which gave him an entirely different perspective.

“He worked his tail off. He did it,” Josh added.

However, the captain doesn’t think that Shane enjoyed fishing after a second try. So, we may not be seeing him star in season 19.

“I don’t know if he’ll ever go crab fishing again,” he shared. “But it was one hell of a journey for him.”

The Captains of ‘Deadliest Catch’ Have a Major Problem This Season

Along with the news of Shane Harris joining Deadliest Catch, Josh also shared that this season is going to be particularly cumbersome. Because not only does the cast have lingering COVID mandates to follow, but they also can’t fish for their main catch—the red king crab.

As Josh shared with EW, the Alaskan government had forbidden fishermen to target the species. So now, he and the other crews will have to move their focus to golden king crabs, which are much harder to trap.

 But despite the new challenge, Josh finished the season feeling positive about the experience. And he’s enjoying the new bond he has with his brother, which has continued post-filming.

“We still talk. And he still gives me hugs,” he said. “So that’s a good start.” 

Watch Deadliest Catch every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.