Returning: Deadliest Catch

Perennial factual series Deadliest Catch is back for its 13th season on Discovery next month.

Filmed in the Bearing Sea, this premiered in the US last month.

It’s the one of deadliest jobs on Earth; crab fishing off the Alaskan coast in the icy Bering Sea. But for the fearless captains and their crews who dare to embark on the voyage, twelve metre waves, below zero temperatures and violent storms with hurricane force winds are just another day in the office.

Over the past 12 years, the veteran captains of Deadliest Catch thought they’d seen it all, but this year proves to be like no other on record. Temperatures in the Bering Sea have risen four degrees in the last year alone – 50 times the global average. With crabs vanishing from fishing hot spots and temperatures spiking, it’s a race against the clock to see how the veterans and greenhorns can save the season. To find the crabs, captains must venture out further than ever before into uncharted territory, in hopes that they’ll recover their losses in colder, deeper waters.

The season starts out on a low with the announcement that the bairdi fishery has closed and the quota for king crab has been cut 15 percent due to a sharp decline in population numbers. For the crews that depend on the fishery stocks for their livelihood, this is a huge blow.

With quotas slashed, 25-year-old Sean Dwyer, the youngest captain in the fleet, fights to preserve the legacy of his father who he lost too soon and keep the Brenna A in business. On the Wizard, hard-driving Captain Keith Colburn is back with a vengeance having tackled his personal demons and addictions and is determined to be the top producer in the fleet. While the Saga’s Jake Anderson is under immense pressure to deliver when he’s given more crab quota than anyone else.

It’s also a season of new beginnings as ‘Wild’ Bill Wichrowski sinks everything he has into a new boat the Summer Bay, and bittersweet endings for the Hillstrand brothers, who head out for their last season on the Bering Sea with the Time Bandit. Meanwhile on the Northwestern Sig Hansen is at a crossroad as he struggles to balance health and wealth following a major heart attack last year.

Monster waves, extreme weather, heavy-machinery and massive icebergs are just a few reasons that no season is ever the same on Deadliest Catch. The risk of death is very real and a multitude of injuries can mean these brave crews struggle to return. This season the fleet is reminded of nature’s fury when the captain and crew of the Destination go missing shortly after setting out in search of crab off the coast of Alaska. It’s a sad moment for many of the captains – and the tight-knit community of fishermen – who considered these men as friends.

With one of the toughest seasons on record, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand has officially decided he’s had enough. But only time will tell if anyone else follows his lead.

Wednesdays from 7 June at 7.30pm on Discovery.

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