National Geographic Society

  • Connect:
Wicked Tuna Season 3 Video Banner

Wicked Tuna

Wicked Tuna's Captain Paul

Wicked Tuna Site


SUNDAYS at 9/8c

It's season 3 of Wicked Tuna, and one-time first mate of the Paul Hebert is ready to show his true mettle as Captain of his own boat.


Wicked Tuna: Wicked Tuna's Captain Paul


It's season 3 of Wicked Tuna, and one-time first mate of the Paul Hebert is ready to show his true mettle as Captain of his own boat.


Giles Clasen
Giles Clasen

I love this show because it shows the adversities small businesses face in the US.  I am very liberal and a small business owner and have gone months without income then make $30k in a month.  I find the narrative of the show powerful.  These men and women go to their boats early get off them late.  There is no promise of success and one must have faith in their skills, their crew and nature/god/the ocean - whatever - to literally battle through powerful forces to provide for their families.

It is easy to watch an animal killed an belittle the show for what you "horror".  But my family ranches in the midwest and raising, branding and castrating cows is not pretty.  But neither is paying $4,00 to keep your pet alive another month when they are in incredible pain from cancer.  We have a complex relationship with nature.  We don't think its barbaric when a lion feasts, but call something a human does in the process of raising and slaughtering an animal a "horror". There is a movement of young men and women who have taken up hunting or raising their animals for food and believe it is important to recognize the life cost of putting meat on the table.  But debating agro-ethics is complex and it is easy to judge and not always fair.  You never see in Wicked Tuna disrespect towards the animal.  And I do see a Melvillean reverence for the act of fishing, the ocean and the tuna caught.

I am not one to watch much tv, let alone a show that is about fishing.  I think fishing is boring.  Not my thing. But I respect what these fisheries practice.  And I find the drama of trying to earn an income in a tough market as well as the drama of getting a fish on the line to be an amazing story line.

As for preserving the Atlantic Blue Fish Tuna, well there are continued efforts to regulate it.  NOAA did not list the fish as endangered the past few years and monitors it closely.  There was a UN effort that the US supported to ban fishing for the Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna.  It is difficult to know what the best path back is.  Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna populations are reportedly increasing by some sources.  But every source seems to disagree.

I think it is important to strike a balance between what is economically sound and more importantly sound practices for the species.  The regulations are a tuna longer than 73 inches and in the show this is respected over and over. I don't think the highly regulated commercial industry will hinder the populations overall recovery. Recreational fishing is where smaller, juvenile Atlantic Blue Fin Tuna is most widely hurt as well as illegal harvesting of the animal.

I love Sushi and Sashimi and eat a fair amount of farmed tuna.  But farming has its own problems.  There is not a great solution.  But Wicked Tuna needn't be the target for unethical agro practices or blamed for the decline of the population.

Kristen Parker
Kristen Parker

I subscribe to Nat Geo Mag and watch most every NG show that specializes in Nature/Science/History, etc. Etc meaning things that provide info or insight, visual one on one with sights not seen, discourse on the world as we have yet to, or should further explore or consider. I love it and enjoy most of your productions with gusto!

And then there's 'Wicked Tuna'. Don't get me wrong, "not fa nuthin",  we (Industrialized nations, I.E. U.S., Canada, S. Amer. Japan & Europe and many others) being huge and indiscriminate consumers of the oceans while having no true idea of the impact of our consumption, I applaud the idea of showing the fever of the catch and the moment of success. And on the flip side, the commercially horrific fishing vessels that scrape, trawl, and net fish from wave to sea floor are FAR worse than these folks who feel like they're just out to make a living. HOWEVER, this show only further cements my disgust at the total horror these fish face against a predator no one can avoid, US, meaning humans. Why do you think these fish bring such a HIGH DOLLAR? Because they are highly regulated (Good luck with that) and highly valued for their premium flesh as sushi, which has become (understandably so) intensely popular.. But we can't keep this up, folks. These fish are amazing in their biology, and have been one of the oceans perfect top predators but we are taking faster than they can give. And then I see even the hook fishers who show such ugly reference to this beautiful beast.

Most of these guys (gender not specific) discuss their financial sorrows and how 10-25 of these "babies" would send them to 'cushionville'. These are animals that can't reproduce until they are 4 or 5 yrs of age (which can bring 700-900 lbs before maturity!) and their harvesting is occurring faster than they can replenish the stock. Even the International community has had to revise their estimates on sustainable Tuna as a stock (Per your own publication: Atlantic Tuna have been poorly assessed and over harvested). Plus, catching and securing them is brutal enough, but the fricking gaff hook in the eye, before they've been slaughtered (Time and again, I've seen this, so don't say it's unusual)? Ooof. That's hardcore, unnecessary and just machismo gone wild, 'Bro'.

I guess I feel that watching someone, anyone, show such disrespect, is not entertainment. Unless your whole point is to show how stupid, disrespectful, and time sensitive this game of shells is, I'm not only changing the channel, I'm changing my mind about what you, NG as an organization, will do to make a buck. Hopefully it's the better good that benefits, but I don't see it. Please prove me wrong, because I will not watch this joker party dressed up to look like "sportsmanship" anymore.

Sincerely, KP

rick Lemay
rick Lemay

So what makes you the authority on this subject?