Fans of the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” saw a familiar face earlier today on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”
The hit reality television show has an uncertain future, as the government shutdown has furloughed fisheries managers in charge of conducting harvest quotas. Per an Associated Press article published Wednesday:
Fishermen said Wednesday there is no time to waste in cashing in on the lucrative market in Japan, where the crab is highly prized for holiday celebrations — and that means getting the catch on the way to the island nation by mid-November.
Missing Japan’s holiday season could mean a loss of up to $7 million.
This morning, Keith Colburn, the captain of the Wizard, publicly objected to the government shutdown to the lawmakers who caused it. “I’m a small business man in a big ocean, with big bills,” he pleaded. “And I need to go fishing.”
Later, he sat down with Tapper:
We’re basically locked down. Our fisheries are all closed. National Marine fisheries – I guess they’re deemed “unessential staff.” Well, they’re kind of essential to us.
He said that, without immediate action, fisherman in Alaska and Washington faced serious impacts which would disrupt the entire seafood market’s ecosystem, from big ship captains to processors in coastal communities. Congress’s failure to act will likely result in Alaskan crab being replaced with seafood from Russia.
Like most Americans – especially those sent home without pay – Colburn cares a little about the politics. He’d like the government to open so he can go back to work.
Watch the full exchange here.
(h/t The Lead with Jake Tapper)