Interview: Captain Josh Harris On The New Season Of Deadliest Catch

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The Discovery Channel’s hit show returns

How many TV shows get to run for 16 seasons these days? And that’s not including the various specials and spin-offs. But there’s something about Deadliest Catch that has viewers coming back for more, with season 16 starting on Monday, May 25 at 9pm (KSA) on the Discovery Channel (OSN channel 500).

First screened in 2005, the reality show takes us to the Bering Sea between Asia and North America, as daring fishermen risk their lives to find lucrative Alaskan king crab and sea crab. Initially focused on Captain Phil Harris, the show has since switched to his son, Josh, who commandeers his father’s boat, the Cornelia Marie. With choppy waters, 40ft waves, freezing temperatures and occasional rivalries to contend with, how will Josh and his crew fare this season?

Captain Josh Harris

How would you describe Deadliest Catch?

It’s the toughest, most gruelling show that you can see. In our way of life, the stakes are high, and the show is so raw and honest, that’s why people like it. My whole life is up there on TV, and you get to see my failures and my successes. When you think your job’s bad, watch an episode of Deadliest Catch, and you’ll see what bad really is.

But despite the huge personal risks, the king crab itself is very lucrative, is that right?

It is. I mean, you’ve got to go to the ends of the Earth, and put up with the worst possible weather and the worst possible conditions. People die trying to catch these things. But when you dip a piece of king crab into butter and garlic salt, it changes your life.

Crab fishing in the Bering Sea

Is it true you’ve overhauled your boat, the Cornelia Marie, for this season, with lots of new technology?

Yes, we did. Are we in debt? Yes, we are. We’ve spent millions of dollars revamping this boat for a new age. Anything to get the advantage, and technology is the new wave.

What caused you the biggest problems this season?

The biggest problem is the weather, because it never stops. We had four good days out of two-and-a-half months. The morale was the hardest thing to keep up this year. It was the hardest crab season I’ve ever had in my life. At one point, we got hit by a wave where we rolled over onto our side, but we were lucky – the waves were so big, they actually put us upright again! And we lost our communications for three weeks because we were in such bad weather.

Rival boat the Saga

As well as the new season, you have a spin-off, Deadliest Catch: Bloodline, coming up. What’s that about?

So, Bloodline sees us going to Hawaii, following the charts and maps that once belonged to my father. Compared to the regular series, it’s heaven and hell. I mean, polar opposites, everything is completely different. We’re catching fish instead of crab; we’re using poles instead of pots; and we’re on a boat the size of a dingy, not the Cornelia Marie.

What’s the biggest thing you learned from your father?

He told me to always take care of the crew. They’re the pumping heart of the boat.

Captain Josh Harris

Obviously, what you do is incredibly tough, full of adversity. How do you approach other challenges in your life away from crab fishing?

Well, you know what? We’re a couple sides short of a meal, let’s just leave it at that.

Can we expect more from Deadliest Catch? What’s next?

Next is always for the Cornelia Marie to make money. Sure, there will be more, as long as we’re able to catch crab and roll up a bunch of men. Mother nature is a cruel, heartless mistress, but we battle her when we have to go to work. And then, hopefully, we make it back and celebrate.

Deadliest Catch season 16 premieres on Monday, May 25 at 9pm (KSA) on the Discovery Channel (OSN channel 500).

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