‘Deadliest Catch’ star testifies before Congress on shutdown effects
Among the far-reaching effects of the ongoing government shutdown is the lack of staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is about to put a major crimp in the Alaskan fishing industry. The problem is so great that it’s even being felt by reality TV star Keith Colburn, who catches crabs off Alaska’s coast on the Discovery Channel series “Deadliest Catch.”
According to CNN, Colburn testified before members of the Senate Commerce Committee on Friday to urge them to have the currently furloughed staffers return to work so they could assign quotas before the start of Alaskan fishing season next week. The quotas prevent the seas from being overfished. If the fishermen don’t get quotas, they can’t fish. They can only sit at port and wait. Not an ideal situation for any fisherman.
“We have been racking up bills getting ready to go fishing,” Colburn told the committee. “If we’re tied to the docks waiting for the government, we can’t pay those bills.”
The reality series that Colburn is famous for concluded its ninth season in July. Though a 10th season hasn’t been announced yet, it would be hard if the fishermen it follows are all stuck at port, waiting for the U.S. government to open again.
Colburn warned congressmen that American fishermen not sailing the waters would open them up for more Russian fishermen to take the fish.
“I feel like we’re putting the Russians to work and American fishermen out of work,” he said.
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