A combination of Washington politics and Mother Nature took a serious toll on "Deadliest Catch" Captain Keith Colburn's crabbing empire.
With last year's partial government shut down, Colburn couldn't get the necessary permits filed, so his boats sat idle. And the resulting shorter season meant less time on the water to catch crabs.
"As it stood we probably lost $7 or 8 million from the fleet overall," he told Fox & Friends. "The windows of opportunity get less and less and we had to have our crab on the market by the middle of November to get it to Japan. Japan's our biggest buyer."
A recent trip to Washington confirmed politics would continue to get in the way of his business, he said. But Colburn believes there is still hope for the fishing industry. He's told ABC's "Power Players" he is backing Democratic Sen. Mark Begich for a second term in hopes he can turn things around.
“I like Sen. Begich,” Colburn said. “He's worked well on both sides of the aisle; he's worked well to support Alaska fisheries, energy. I think he's the right guy for the job.”
Perhaps even more concerning than politics, Colburn fears high temperatures in recent years will have drastic implications on crabbing in Alaska.
“We are seeing it,” Colburn said. “In the last decade in Alaska, we've seen three of the warmest temperatures ever for water temperatures in the last hundred years, and we've seen three of the coldest temperature years. We're seeing these huge dips in cycles in our weather patterns in Alaska...it's bad for the crab."
No matter what happens, Colburn says: "I love what I do, and I love being on the water."