‘Deadliest Catch’ Exclusive: COVID-19 Threatens Crab Offloading For Cornelia Marie

April Neale

The race is on on the next Deadliest Catch, and the stress is real for Cornelia Marie co-captains Casey McManus and Josh Harris.

They are killing it for numbers in opilio crab, but COVID 19 is closing the processing plants and canneries, which means the crab haul may perish in the waiting game.

The Cornelia Marie is having an excellent crab season, but the issue is what to do when they get to port if no one is available or open to take their load of crab.

Read our exclusive interview with Josh Harris here!

Cornelia Marie and the opilio dilemma

About 500 miles from the fishing grounds in Akutan, Alaska, one of the four major opilio crab canneries suspends its
operations after a surge in COVID 19, the virus that has halted normal life for everyone, including the cast of Deadliest Catch.

In the TV Shows Ace exclusive clip below, Casey McManus and Josh Harris, the co-captains of the Cornelia Marie, are raking in crab, but the issue lies in what to do with the bountiful harvest. COVID has the canneries short of personnel, which means the crab is likely to perish if not processed in a normal timely manner.

If the Bering sea’s remaining processing plants follow suit, Captains Josh Harris and Casey McManus won’t be able to offload their time-sensitive cargo. This problem will saddle them with hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

McManus ponders the problem: “We’re on good fishing. [But] what happens if we come back out and we got nothing [at] all in the pot?”

Listening intently, Harris says: “It’s a very real possibility. We’re right on that cusp of being able to end this [crabbing season].  McManus agrees and says: “[We] just got to keep fishing, man. I just want to get as much crab as we can right now because when we go and deliver, it’s going to take a while. We’re kind of at their mercy. Decisions, decisions.”

Harris adds: “Stay on fishing like this. We’ll have this done by tomorrow, [let’s] get this puppy offloaded.”

McManus radios the crew on deck and asks Taylor to flood the front tanks. He says: “We’re gonna have to open up all the valves. Okay, see how many pounds we can get aboard this big old girl.”

The skippers stay on the hunt to fill their tanks, betting that their numbers and the remaining canneries stay healthy.

Last week on Deadliest Catch

The Saga raked in record amounts of “solid crab” that blew away Captain Jake Anderson. The Saga caught the edges of the storm that churned and burned the Time Bandit, Hillstrand’s boat.

Johnathan was nearly in Russia and had to turn south to escape the 40-knot winds. The Bandit deckhands were neck-deep in cod and opilio crab in amounts like they hadn’t seen before.  This was before Carl got pinned by an 800-lb metal pot.

On the Wizard, Monte Colburn helmed the wheel. At the same time, Captain Keith Colburn was making a salad and ascertained that Ken’s Steakhouse dressing was from Ken’s Steakhouse in Massachusetts. A fun fact about Keith, he is a trained chef.

And bonus huzzahs to the cinematographers for the awesome hook and line footage that had the cameras follow the gaffing lines out to the pots, shooting the entire arc of the throw and the journey below the ice caps and roiling sea. Brilliant camera work this season for Deadliest Catch.

Tune in to see how the Cornelia Marie fares in the race to get the crab offloaded:


Deadliest Catch airs Tuesday at 8 PM on Discovery, or stream it now on discovery+

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