“Deadliest Catch: Bloodline” is a reality TV series currently airing on Discovery Channel, created as a spin-off from the popular docu-series “Deadliest Catch”. The show follows the fisherman Josh Harris and his business partners Casey McManus and Jeff Silva, as they investigate the life of Josh’s father, Phil.
The story which “Bloodline” follows starts after the remodeling of the boat Cornelia Marie, during which Josh Harris found his late father’s Hawaiian fishing charts detailing a multi-million dollar kona fishery. Josh and Casey then venture to Kona Coast in search of yellowfin tuna, while learning about Phil Harris’ past. There, they team up with local fisherman Jeff Silva, and Jonathan Hillstrand, the former co-captain of Time Bandit (featured in the original “Deadliest Catch” series), who help uncover the possible motives behind Phil’s time spent on Hawaii.
“Deadliest Catch: Bloodline” season one recap
At the beginning of season one, we’re introduced to Jeff Silva, a local fisherman from Hawaii, who struggles to sell fish, as Covid-1-related regulations slowed down tourism in the region, and consequently, the need for fish.
More than 2,500 miles away, in Seattle, Washington State, Josh Harris told his brother Jake, about their father’s secret business in Hawaii, and we learn that their father left behind a collection of maps, detailing the locations of the most valuable fish in Hawaiian waters. Josh’s plan was to go for a fishing trip to Hawaii himself, following Phil’s maps. To learn even more about his father, Josh collected all of his belongings from their old family house in North Dakota. One of Josh’s and Jake’s biggest discoveries is that their father spent a lot of time in Las Vegas, Nevada. After initially thinking that he might have been a gambler, unbeknownst to them, the brothers eventually figured out that there could be another reason behind these trips.
With higher stakes and a quickly approaching deadline, will Josh regret bringing the Cornelia Marie down to Hawai’i?
— Deadliest Catch (@DeadliestCatch) June 21, 2021
Namely, Las Vegas is a home to some of the best restaurants in the country, and has the largest market for seafood in the continental US, estimated at more than $100 million per year. Perhaps Phil was actually visiting Vegas to sell his fish? To test the claim, Josh and his close friend and business partner Casey McManus, headed out to ‘Sin City’, where they visited various restaurants and talked to their head chefs in hopes of finding out whether there really is a market for high-end fish. While the chefs were mostly skeptical about their offer to buy fish at $45 per pound, they did land a customer, who ordered 1,000lbs (around 455kgs) of ahi and mahi-mahi.
Josh and Casey then travelled to Hawaii, where they met up with Jeff who agreed to help them fulfill the order. They were off to a strong start until their boat was damaged during one of their trips. After lots of deliberation, the guys agreed not to fix the boat, and to instead buy a bigger one. The boat Josh chose cost more than $360,000, so to pay for it, they partnered with Phil’s old friend, Jonathan Hillstrand.
Season two recap
In season two, Josh headed back to Hawaii for a second year, but before that, he reunited with his brother Jake. After arriving at Hawaii, and spending 14 days quarantined in their hotel rooms, Josh and Casey went fishing with Jeff on the open sea; Jonathan soon joined the group, and took Josh under his wing. Together, they managed to catch lots of valuable fish, but had to figure out how to transport it safely. The only viable solution seemed to be a private plane ride offered by a very sketchy man Jonathan came in contact with, but luckily everything went according to plan, and chef Barry seemed astounded by the quality of fish he received. In fact, he was so happy with his order that he recommended Josh and his crew to six of his business partners. Of course, this was an amazing opportunity, but also meant that they had to put in even more work into fulfilling the orders.
Back in Hawaii, Josh meets up with Bob Termain, an old friend of Phil’s who might have valuable insight into Phil’s business there. Bob revealed that he and Phil met while crab fishing in Alaska, and Josh concluded that it might have been Bob’s idea to try out the Hawaiian waters.
As Josh and his crew were about to embark on a fishing trip, they realize that their competition is a lot tougher compared to the last year, as tourism in Hawaii flourished since travel restrictions became more relaxed, the local demand for fish increased 300%. In hopes of catching more fish, they decided to go further from the shore compared to other fishermen, but quickly realized that they had to deal with literal sharks in the open waters.
As fulfilling the Vegas order started to seem impossible, Josh consulted with Bob, who told him that they could catch up to 6,000lbs (2,700kgs) of fish on a good day, if they take advantage of seamounts – small volcanoes which are fully submerged in water. According to Bob, seamounts create a current which moves up the side of volcano dragging up food, which in turn attracts lots of fish.
Josh bought a bigger boat again, which he named Cornelia Marie, to give the new tactic a try, achieving a lot of success.
Thank you to Deb Rhoades of Dutch Harbor, AK for this shot of us pulling into port. We came in to offload our pots and our crab as our King crab season comes to a close. #CorneliaMarie #DeadliestCatch #DC14
What to expect on season three?
In season three, we follow Josh and the rest of the group as they try to meet the new demand of 3,000lbs of fish per week, while using Phil Harris’ old maps as a reference.
The newest season of “Deadliest Catch: Bloodline” also delivers a lot more emotional and exciting moments. The premiere of season three sees Josh reaching out to his estranged older brother, Shane, whom he hadn’t talked to since their father’s passing. According to Discovery Channel: ‘Josh and Shane were close in their childhood years, but after his divorce, Phil remarried and the two half-brothers went their separate ways. Now this is an opportunity for Shane to join Josh, Casey and Jeff on a fishing adventure that will hopefully rebuild their brotherly bond, and provide them with a big payday.’
Very little is actually known about Shane, who isn’t even listed as Phil’s son on his Wikipedia page. During the season, Shane reveals more about Phil, as he witnesses his formative years fishing in the 1980s. During this time, Phil was still living in Louisiana and building his famous ship. In the promo, we can see the Harris brothers leaving Hawaii and exploring the gulf coast, searching for answers about their father’s life.
Who is Josh Harris?
“Bloodline” main star Josh Harris was born in March 1983, the eldest son of Phil and Mary Harris, and has an older half-brother named Shane and a younger brother, Jake. He has been appearing in “Deadliest Catch” and its spin-offs, alongside his father, since 2007, while honing his fishing skills.
After his father’s passing in 2010, he took over as a co-captain of his father’s ship Cornelia Marie, and subsequently earned his captain’s license. In 2014, he and his brother Jake co-wrote and published a book about their father, entitled “Captain Phil Harris: the Legendary Crab Fisherman, Out Hero, Our Dad”.
From his relationship with Jenna Bulis, Josh has a daughter named Kinsley Ella Harris, whom he often features in his Instagram photos. It’s unclear whether Josh is still with Kinsley’s mother.
As of May 2022, Josh’s net worth has been estimated at more than $800,000.
What happened to Phil Harris?
Josh’s father Phil had been fishing since the age of eight. After matriculating high school in 1974, he started working on a crab boat as an unpaid deckhand, slowly making his way to the top. At the age of 21, he was one of the youngest crab fishing boat Captains on the Bering Sea.
In 2004, Phil and his boat started appearing in “Deadliest Catch”, starting with the opilio crab period of season one. In season two, Phil’s Cornelia Marie became one of the main fixtures of the show. Four years later, in 2008, Phil was thrown off his bed during a storm, and through that he had broken his ribs; he started coughing up blood, and required urgent medical care. The doctors concluded that he suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blockage of an artery in the lungs, which forced him to take a year-long break from fishing.
On 29 January 2010, during filming of an episode of season six, Phil went to his stateroom to retrieve medication, but collapsed as the result of a stroke. A member of the ship’s crew found him on the floor, conscious, but unable to move the left side of his body. He called for his sons Josh and Jake while they waited for the paramedics to arrive according to the series’ producer, Thom Beers, Phil insisted that the camera crew continue to film him; what Phil said at that moment was: ‘Dude you’ve got to. We’ve got to have an end to the story. You want to film this, film this.’ They honored his wish, and continued to film until Phil was taken to the hospital. He underwent emergency brain surgery, but succumbed to stroke complications on 9 February 2010. As seen on the show, Phil was a long-time chain smoker, which probably contributed to his declining health. He had a New Orleans-style jazz funeral, at which the Soul Rebels Brass Band performed the song “After the Catch”, written in his honor.
9 years have flown by since we lost Phil, always in our hearts and minds xx
The dangers of commercial fishing
One of the main issues “Deadliest Catch” and its spin-off shows highlight are the dangers of commercial fishing. In 2006, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked it as the single profession with the highest mortality rate, with 141.7 deaths per 100,000 – which is 75% higher than pilots, loggers and flight engineers. Alaskan king crab fishing is even more dangerous than other kinds of commercial fishing, due to the harsh environmental conditions in the Bering Sea area. The pilot episode of “Deadliest Catch” reveals that nearly one fisherman dies every week during the peak of crab fishing season, while the injury rate is nearly 100%. In 2005, it was reported that the fatality rate of Alaskan crab fishing is over 300 deaths per 100,000, with roughly 80% caused by either hypothermia or drowning.
Commercial fishing in Hawaii
As opposed to the original series, “Deadliest Catch: Bloodline” focuses more on the Hawaiian fishing industry. Although the island state is primarily known as a tourist spot, commercial fishing is a very important sector of the local economy. It’s estimated that each year more than 30 million pounds of fish are pulled from the sea, with a total value of over $110 million. Hawaii is the biggest supplier of swordfish and bigeye tuna in the US, and the industry also indirectly employs a number of mechanics, electronic companies and chandleries, among others.
Hawaiian waters offer a wide variety of fish, ranging from near-shore catches such as opleu and uhu, to the highly valued open sea fish such as mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna and opah. Local fishermen apply different techniques for fishing, the most notable being longlining – instead of a wide net usually associated with commercial fishing, they use a long main line with baited hooks attached at intervals. However, in recent years, the fishing industry in Hawaii had to deal with a lower demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as increasing regulations, particularly the rules stemming from the Marine Mammals Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act. There are conflicting reports on where the fish caught in Hawaii actually ends up, with some stating that as much as 99% of fish is consumed locally, while others state that a significant amount of fish is sold in mainland US, Canada and Japan.
During peak season, a typical work day for an Hawaiian fisherman can last up to 18-20 hours, so the fishermen often subject themselves to dangerously low amounts of sleep. Furthermore, the weather conditions on the open sea pose a significant danger, and frequently damage even the most valuable boats.
Where to watch “Bloodline”?
“Deadliest Catch: Bloodline” airs on Discovery Channel on Tuesdays, at 10pm ET. It’s available for streaming on Discovery+, as well as FuboTV and Philo.