‘Deadliest Catch’ Returning for ‘Landmark’ 17th Season on Discovery: Details

by Atlanta Northcutt

The pandemic has affected every type of business, including crabbing and other fishing industries. Although the Deadliest Catch captains and their crews are well-known thanks to the Discovery Channel show, they are not exempt from these struggles.

Deadliest Catch is returning to Discovery Channel for its landmark 17th season.

Just as 2020 was a year like no other, the upcoming season of Deadliest Catch will be unlike any of the previous ones. The legendary captains of the crabbing vessels work to fight the effects of the pandemic on their personal businesses, as well as throughout the entire industry.

Only half the crab boats leave the dock for their 2021 crabbing season. The Deadliest Catch captains still head out across the Bering Sea in order to fish for king and snow crab while making the long trip to Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

COVID Brings More Complications to Crab Fishing

The job is considered one of the most dangerous lines of work. There is a higher risk of death or injury since crab is caught in the bitter cold and rough ocean waters of the Bering Sea. This is true even after charts and graphs help outline where the best hunting waters are for that season.

To make the 2021 season even more difficult, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game wasn’t able to survey their crab as they do each summer. Therefore, the captains will be navigating fishing grounds without charts or graphs. The captains soon realize that since this season is so unique, they will have to hunt with a new and different approach, as well.

“Looking kind of empty,” Captain Sig Hansen tells his crew. “I’ve been coming up here for 42 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

One Captain Works to Keep The Fishermen Afloat

Captain Sig Hansen is back at the helm of the F/V Northwestern. With all odds currently stacked against the entire fishing industry, Hansen decides a new plan will be needed. He comes up with two big decisions. He looks to another captain who isn’t afraid of attempting something new in order to tackle this season’s unforeseeable issues.

Johnathan Hillstrand is one of Hansen’s good friends and a legendary crab captain. Hillstrand captains the F/V Time Bandit. With the two working together, the captains and their crews could easily conquer the 5-million-pound season quota. It’s unknown if Captain Hillstrand will come out of retirement in order to help Hansen, but in doing so, he also helps save the industry he knows and loves.

Seasoned Captain Sig Hansen decides on a second part of the strategy. It’s something he’s never done before in his long career. He believes if the captains work together in a pack it’ll make the season easier on them all. This agreement requires honesty between all of the vessels. The captains and crews must be able to cooperate with one another, and some of the crabbers aren’t sure how well this will work.

Will The Other Captains Join Him?

Can Hansen get the other captains to join, even those who are enemies?

The well-known captains and crews of the F/V Wizard, F/V Lady Alaska, F/V Cornelia Marie, and the F/V Summer Bay return to experience issues of their own, but the biggest question they all face is how to survive the 2021 crab season .in the midst of a pandemic. Will they float together or sink alone?

The new season of Deadliest Catch will first air on the streaming service discovery+ with new episodes beginning Friday, March. 19. It will then premiere on the Discovery Channel on Tuesday, April 20 at 8 p.m. central.