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'Deadliest Catch' crew forced to 'tighten belts' during business downturn

“Deadliest Catch” captain Keith Colburn faced some unexpected changes on the eighth season of the Discovery show, when the crew’s king crab quota was cut in half.

“It’s fishery, it’s a stock, it ebbs and flows and rises and falls,” Colburn told “ Live.”

The National Marine Fisheries and Alaska Department of Fish and Game work together to monitor the resource and make sure it’s sustainable. While blue crab went up, king crab went down, but Colburn fished for both, all while enduring brutal conditions.

It's a difficult job ... it's a real dangerous job

- Captain Keith Colburn

RELATED: 'Deadliest Catch' star's legal woes

Colburn said that it’s important for the crews to plan ahead, as there are productive seasons and then low seasons every few years.

“You really need to try to tighten your belt in low seasons and then try to build a nest egg during the bigger seasons,” he said. “So we’re constantly doing that.”

But while they can plan for the economic end of fishing, the brutal conditions remain unpredictable.

“From the weather to the ice, to everything we’re going through and then working in close quarters with a lot of guys, long hours, it’s a difficult job,” he said. “It’s a real dangerous job.”

“There isn’t a guy that’s worked on a boat that doesn’t have some kind of injury, they’re pretty constant,” he said. “When we take a wave, the first thing you do is count heads .. and then you start trying to figure out if everyone’s in one piece.”

“It doesn’t change,” he added.

The new season of “Deadliest Catch” airs April 10 on Discovery.


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