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Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen Gets Brutally Honest About The Financial Stress Of Fishing For A Living

When "Deadliest Catch" made its Discovery Channel debut back in 2005, it promised viewers an inside look at what many believe to be some of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. Almost two decades later, it's still delivering on that promise. The thrilling docu-drama is still providing solid ratings for Discovery as well, with fans continuing to tune in to sate their intrigue about the torrid lives of king crab fishers.

Likewise, a stodgy group of captains and crews keep coming back from season to season to show those viewers exactly what it takes to make it in the fishing game. But even as they stare down abhorrent weather, icy waters, and countless other deadly obstacles on a per-episode basis, they do so with dollar signs in their eyes as there are indeed fortunes to be made in their line of work. But according to long-time "Deadliest Catch" star Sig Hansen, the never-ending financial stress of working in the fishing industry is something you can't fully grasp unless you're in it.

Hansen says the financial concerns of fishing are pretty relentless

Like many of his "Deadliest Catch" counterparts, Sig Hansen comes from a long line of fishermen, even passing the baton to his own daughter Mandy. He's also the longest-tenured star to appear on the show. He may also be the most volatile, of course, with the Northwestern captain's combustible personality and frequent stresses potentially playing a role in his ongoing health issues (via TV Insider). As if the weight of keeping his boat afloat, and his crew as far from peril as possible wasn't enough, Hansen admitted to Channel Guide Magazine during a 2014 interview that the financial aspect of fishing is what really keeps him up at night.   

Hansen spoke as candidly as fans might expect when discussing money with CGM, noting the industry itself is and always will be a tough way to make a living because, "when your income relies on getting that boat out there, there is no retirement plan, so to speak. You don't know from one year to the next if you're even going to go fishing to make a living." Hansen goes on to talk about how the possibility of even necessary shutdowns — like the one the crabbing industry is currently facing (per The Washington Post) — only adds to the already difficult conditions.

In the end, Hansen alludes that future generations looking to get into the fishing game might be better off looking elsewhere, adding, "It's a scary way to make a living. And it's not just the danger — it's volatile, so you have to really want it with your heart and accept the kind of lifestyle that it is." Those are sage words of warning. And if you've ever watched a single episode of "Deadliest Catch," you know they're well worth heading.