‘Wicked Tuna’ Captain Dave Carraro Opens up on Having To Cooperate With Competitors in 2020

by John Jamison

In a typical year, a single bluefin tuna fish can be worth a fortune. During a global pandemic, though? It’s a different story. As restaurants shut down throughout 2020, the demand for tuna plummeted. The result was a drastic change in the lives of the fishermen on “Wicked Tuna.”

Dave Carraro, a staple on the series since it began in 2012, quickly realized that his bottom line was in jeopardy. With few other options, he and the other bluefin tuna fishermen on “Wicked Tuna” put their competitive natures aside to make their effort worthwhile. They didn’t all become best friends, but drastic times call for drastic measures. And in 2020, the competition was hardly other fishermen. It was the crumbling market they all shared.

With tuna prices lower than ever, Carraro and the “Wicked Tuna” crews actually worked together. He talked about the unusual dynamic in a March interview with On TV Today.

“It did change the dynamic of how we worked or did not work together. We all agreed that, ‘Hey, let’s work together.’ Yeah, everybody was still competitive or everybody still wanted to be that top boat but we all helped one another out with regards to where we were fishing. ‘Hey, you go this way, I’ll go that way,” said Carraro.

The cooperative effort was more than just coordinating territory, however. Captain Dave Carraro of the FV-Tuna.com and his colleagues were willing to take it a few steps further.

“And you know, we shared information and we shared tactics, you know, how we were fishing, baits we were fishing, how deep we were fishing, just to help one another along for the season for a common goal. And that’s to catch and make what money we can considering the circumstances,” he continued.

‘Wicked Tuna’ Star Dave Carraro Had Plenty to Lose By Helping Competitors

At the end of the day, bluefin tuna fishing is Dave Carraro’s livelihood. And he happens to be very good at it. Of course, all of the crews shown on “Wicked Tuna” have plenty on the line and take it just as seriously. But Dave Carraro and the FV-Tuna.com have proven their mettle with five—count ’em—five victorious tuna seasons since the show began.

Whatever’s he’s doing has been working better than most of his competition. So the prospect of sharing his knowledge with other crews is not something to be taken lightly.

“The other captains would say I’m a ‘lucky boat,’ but I say you earn your luck, good or bad. Each year that we have won has been credited to our hard work, our knowledge, and our collaboration. We work together very well as a team and that wins big!” Carraro told Discover Gloucester recently.