"Deadliest Catch" star meets with Maine fishermen

6:26 PM, Feb 27, 2014   |    comments
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ROCKPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --  Maine commercial fishermen had a chance to meet one of their industry celebrities on Thursday and found out he knows a little bit about Maine fishing.

Captain Keith Colburn is owner and captain of the fishing vessel "Wizard," and is one of the stars of the TV show, "The Deadliest Catch."

Colburn told an audience at the annual Maine Fishermen's Forum Thursday that the Alaska King Crab fishery is safer than it was when he started in 1985, but is still a dangerous job. 

"Is it as bad as it looks on TV?" asked Colburn. "No. It's worse."

He told NEWS CENTER that during the roughest conditions he restricts where the videographers can stand for safety reasons. He said that means the show may not be able to show the worst conditions.

Colburn was invited to the forum by some lobstermen from Port Clyde, Maine. Colburn met those fishermen during a bicycle trip in Maine last summer. He then went lobstering with them, and said there are some similarities between Alaskan and Maine fisheries. 

Besides both using traps, buoys and bait on rough seas, he said, both fisheries have to contend with the same challenges, such as government regulation, rising costs, and changing ocean conditions.

Colburn said "The Deadliest Catch" has been on the air for 10 years, which is a long time in the reality TV world. He said he believes the popularity of the show has helped increase public awareness and respect for the job commercial fishermen do. 

"In the old days, if you were in New York City eating a lobster, you had no perception of how that lobster got caught. Or the amount of work that went into it, " Colburn said. "Today, people watch 'Deadliest Catch' and see what the guys go through. They bring the crab to the table and realize those are the hardest working blue collar guys on the planet."

As for the proposed reality TV show about Maine lobstering, Colburn said the fishermen should do it, but should be aware "it's not all roses," and that there can be a downside to having TV cameras around you all the time.

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