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Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen Claims Producers Enhance Weather Conditions To Dramatize The Show

Ocean fishing is a tenuous affair that sees shipmates battered by rough oceans, erratic weather conditions, and volatile emotions that run high during dangerous or time-sensitive operations. Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" focuses on brave individuals who are willing to face some of the most treacherous waters on the planet, which makes for some very popular reality television. Having been on the airwaves since 2005, "Deadliest Catch" has proven to be such a hit that several spin-off shows have been spawned, like "Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove," "Deadliest Catch: Bloodline," and "Deadliest Catch: The Viking Returns."

Sig Hansen is one of the most prolific captains on "Deadliest Catch." Calling the fishing vessel Northwestern his second home, Sig comes from a long line of commercial fishers – and the line has continued with his very own child Mandy, who has taken command of the ship at times when Sig is taking a break or is indisposed. Considering the dangerous nature of the profession featured in "Deadliest Catch," some may wonder if the stormy and unforgiving waters of the Bering Sea always look like that, and it turns out that Sig has a very specific answer to this question.

Hansen says that the producer tend to focus on the bad weather

Speaking with Fishing.net, Sig Hansen was asked why the weather always looks foreboding on "Deadliest Catch." Hansen replied, "I do think they want to show the dramatic side. They shoot thousands of hours of footage, and I can understand that they are trying to put a story-board together and make it fit. Everything that they film is accurate, but you will see a lot of the more foul weather as opposed to the calm days; I suppose that's what sells, but the bad weather is a reality."

In other words, Sig states that during the editing process, the producers of the show tend to focus on the bad weather days, if only to create a better story. Of course, there are probably nice, calm days with little drama, but that doesn't make for a riveting reality television show. Fans aren't tuning into "Deadliest Catch" to see a soothing crabbing run, but rather the high-stakes action and drama that comes with attempting to harvest the bounties of the sea. According to Hakai Magazine, Dungeness crab fishing is one of the most dangerous professions on the west coast of the United States, with statistics highlighting that there is an average of 310 deaths per 100,000 workers as of 2016. This is on account of the long working hours and grueling physical demand, but also the climate itself.

The Bering Sea is a cold and shallow body of water

As reported by Brittanica, the climate of the Bering Sea and Strait can be exceptionally foreboding, even for the most experienced commercial fishers. This is due to the relatively shallow nature of the sea, which averages between 100 and 150 feet — this is fantastic for crabbing, but also exceptionally dangerous because it doesn't take much to whip the waters into a frenzy. It is also noted that even though the Bering Sea is at the same latitude as Great Britain, the climate is significantly more intense, with the mean average air temperature of the northern part of the Bering Sea hovering around -14 degrees Fahrenheit, while the southern area is around 39 degrees. In other words, the Bering Sea can be very cold and very choppy.

However, that isn't to say that the Bering Sea is always a nightmare, especially considering Sig Hansen's early words about the weather. Of course since "Deadliest Catch" is mainly for entertainment, the editors and show creators will always gravitate towards interesting scenes and moments. Who isn't unsettled by waves that can toss a boat around like it is a toy, or skies that look like Armageddon is about to break loose? Luckily for Sig and the others involved in crabbing operations, the weather isn't like that all of the time, just when "Deadliest Catch" needs it to be.