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The Reason Crab Fishers Worried Deadliest Catch Might Destroy Their Livelihoods

Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" has been a mainstay of reality television for a staggering 18 years, and throughout that time the series' immense popularity has helped bring the world of commercial crab fishing into the public eye. In fact, some of these Alaskan king crab fishermen (who spend their days battling the tumultuous conditions of the Bering Sea) have become celebrities in their own right simply due to their appearance on "Deadliest Catch," and the series' incredible success has helped to embolden their already successful careers as fishermen.

Indeed, Captain Sig Hansen (considered by many to be the best "Deadliest Catch" captain) currently has a net worth of around $4 million; a testament to the tremendous success he has enjoyed as one of the most prolific crab fishermen in the Bering Sea and one of the most popular members of the series itself (via Celebrity Net Worth). Considering the fact that most of the captains we meet in "Deadliest Catch" have enjoyed an immense amount of success due to the series' popularity, it might surprise some fans to learn that there were plenty of fishermen who originally opposed the series — worrying that "Deadliest Catch" might destroy their livelihood.

Some fishermen worried that the show would cause issues for their insurance

During an interview with The Fishing Website, Captain Sig Hansen explained that the first season of "Deadliest Catch" received a lot of pushback from other Alaskan king crab fishermen — many of whom worried that the series would spell disaster for their insurance. "The first time around we wanted to do it for our families as a kind of a keepsake. We took a lot of heat and a lot of them turned their backs to us," Hansen recalled. "These days, all the guys that turned their backs to us want to participate in the show — they see the good that has come from it. Dutch Harbor is such a little town that they were afraid that, seeing the true working conditions, the insurance companies would freak out and take it negatively, but they haven't done that."

Hansen went on to assert that the series' success has even received praise from the governor of Alaska, who allegedly claimed that "Deadliest Catch" has done incredible things for the state itself. Despite Hansen's claims that any misgivings about the series were unfounded, some fishermen still think that the show has overstayed its welcome. In 2016, Anchorage Daily News reported that the show had caused problems for crabbing boats that don't appear in the series — as they don't receive any additional funding from Discovery and are barely able to make a profit when the competition is receiving so much extra support.

Although any worries about the fleet's insurance ended up being unnecessary, it's clear that there are still some crab fishermen who think that "Deadliest Catch" is bad for business and that their profession would thrive if the show were to leave Alaskan waters.