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Why Sig Hansen Leaves The Boat In Deadliest Catch: The Viking Returns Episode 2

The crews for the various boats involved in "Deadliest Catch" have had a rough go of it the last couple of years. First, due to low stocks, the state of Alaska decided to cancel the winter 2021-22 red king crab fishing for the first time since 1994, with biologists warning that they're in a steady decline (via Seafood Source). But then Alaska also set the catch limit for snow crabs at almost 90% less than the previous year, citing the warming Bering Sea that was affecting the population, according to The Seattle Times.

But this is "Deadliest Catch," and the ship's captains need to find a way to catch crab, even if it's not the kind they're most familiar with. We saw Johnathan search for Golden King Crab, and the ships' captains try other bodies of water in their attempts to make their quotas. Sig Hansen has been honest about the financial stress that comes with fishing for a living in 2014, telling Channel Guide Magazine, "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."

In Hansen's spin-off, "Deadliest Catch: The Viking Returns," viewers are curious as to what exactly Hansen is looking for when he makes the decision to leave the boat and go to the beach.

Hansen wants to find out if there's a market for troll crab

In "Deadliest Catch: The Viking Returns," Sig Hansen decides that it's time to find out if troll crab could be the future of crab fishing. "If there's another species out there that we could build a market on, why wouldn't we?" he says, explaining to his crew why they're turning around and heading back to town. "I want to get to the beach; I want to do my own due diligence. I want to go find out what's going on." Jake Anderson doesn't seem too excited about Hansen leaving the boat, but the captain remains optimistic, telling him, "Right now we're participating in a fishery, but we could be building a fishery. If it doesn't pan out, I can jump on the next trip; that's not a problem."

With all the trouble finding enough red king crab, Hansen's plan to find out if there's a market for troll crab makes sense. To begin their research, he and Mandy contact family, other fishermen, and even chefs to enquire about the troll crabs. In the end, he ends up making a deal with a local Norwegian restaurant — he'll provide them with 200 kilos of troll crab, and they'll serve it for one night to see if there's interest from consumers.

Hansen's decision is pretty bold and also admirable. Coming from generations of fishermen, he doesn't want to see the industry die but is instead willing to try to forge a new resource — troll crab. We can't wait for Episode 3 to find out if there really is a future in this new venture.