Alaska Reality Wars | Selling Out Our High Seas And Distant Shores.


The vast expanse of the last frontier is quickly becoming the king of prime time television entertainment. There is another gold rush in Alaska and its attacking our screens with the ferocity of a Kodiak brown bear. There are over twenty reality TV shows currently airing on numerous cable networks that have some affiliation with Alaska. It’s easy to assume that Alaska is just plain awesome, right? Who wouldn’t want to film in the vast expanse of America’s most remote and majestic state? Perhaps, this all goes back to our favorite famous Alaskan. No one else has enticed and disappointed America with their Alaskan charm more than Sarah Palin. During her political stint in 2008, Palin instituted an Alaska film incentive program that could give up to 200 million bucks a year to prospective production companies that met the proper requirements. Lucky for us, her daughter, Britol Palin, received 360,000 dollars for her short lived reality show, which received some of the worse ratings ever. (Second, of course, to Hook, Line, And Sisters! Just Kidding.) Over 40 Alaskan reality shows have come and gone over the years, even Sarah had her own fleeting reality moments on TLC in the fall of 2010. A few of the older shows, like the Deadliest Catch, have managed to keep their integrity and expand their fan base. It fact, it’s constantly the most popular show on Discovery Channel. Newer reality shows, like Alaskan Bush People, are angering Alaskans with their lack of local knowledge and the sensational approach to even the most mundane situations. With the possibility of the Alaskan film incentives being discounted due to budget cuts, is this a reprieve for weathered Alaskan fishermen? Don’t count on it. Another 13 shows are listed to be in currently in production according to IMDB.

This “selling out” of our high seas and distant shores hits closer to home than I ever realized it could. Over the past months, I have been in negotiation with an unnamed reality production crew, which was interested in the Commercial Fishing Film Festival. Unfortunately, I can’t really mention too many details about the “proposed” reality show due to legal mumbo jumbo. Initially, I drank the “Hollywood Kool-Aid” and was profoundly inspired by the possibilities of this new found partnership. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had pretty much signed away any creative rights for “our” future project. Luckily, with a little back pedaling and stalling, I was able to back away from the deal. I instantly realized the unique quality of The Commercial Fishing Film Festival is in its raw independent nature. These are real fishermen, capturing real moments, with their own personal twist on their reality. Most of all, these voices and visions aren’t being stifled by some producer who knows absolutely nothing about Alaska or fishermen. If you are as disgusted of fake reality shows, tune into www.fishfilmfest.com for hundreds of commercial fishing videos uploaded by from various fishermen around the world.

It’s easy to understand the appeal of these “reality” shows. Adventure, discovery, and exploration are really at the heart of the American dream. Sadly, these ideals are being packaged by Hollywood and mass produced for prime time television at the cost of true Alaskans. Edge Of Alaska, really? Let’s hope that the redneck roundup of ridiculous reality shows finds a new land to tarnish. In the meantime… Have you seen the latest episode of Alaskan Bush People?

Check into our new FlipBoard magazine for the latest updates and articles on Alaska’s Reality Wars.  Just click on the image to jump to Flipboard.

 

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Commercial Fishing Video Of The Day | Old School Deadliest Catch


 

Nordic Heritage Center recently uploaded this hidden treasure, which showcases the early origins and history of king crab fishing in Alaska.  This is a great perspective to get everyone in the Deadliest Catch spirit!

Commercial Fishing Photo Of The Day | ComFishFilmFest 2014


First of all, I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who has helped support the ComFishFilmFest this year. The festival is really a celebration of the people that I love to work with. Its nice to have a forum where fishermen can come together and share stories. In these digital times, that means sharing GoPro footage and incredible sites only caught in an instant on a camera phone. This year’s festival is live online now at www.fishfilmfest.com. Voting will continue until Jan 30th and we will announce the winners on Jan.31st. So, there is still plenty of time to check out the new site!

Commercial Fishing Photo Of The Day | Crabulous Christmas


 

Pike's Place Market really knows to display a cornucopia of marine life. Thousands of tourists flood the market each day to see the local bounty of the Pacific Northwest. The seafood displays usually take front stage as fishmongers call out the catch of the day and toss a fish or two. As you can see in this tasty shot, the seafood usually speaks for itself. Happy Holidays!

 

Dutch Harbor Update | King Crab Season 2013


FrameMagic

Government shutdowns, ocean acidification, huge ice pack predictions, and no Cordelia Marie on the Deadliest Catch.  The upcoming King Crab season is off to a bumpy start this year.  Most crab fishermen are on route as of this post.  October 15th is the official opening date, but the recent government shutdown won’t allow federal organizations to issue IFQ to the skippers, which could have many fishermen sitting at the docks wasting time and money.  The Coast Guard is also affected by our government’s ineptitude.  Standard issued Coast Guard safety exams are limited due to the lack of government funding.

Other recent news articles point to the increasing acidification of our oceans, which have the harshest effects on crustaceans.  The increased acidity hinders creatures ability to  grow strong outer shells.  Its unlikely, that the effect of ocean acidification will affect fishermen this season, but its an issue that weighs heavily on the minds of crabbers.  Especially, in light of the recent oyster disaster on the Pacific west coast.

Arctic Ice has been a major problem for crabbers the past two seasons.  The ice pack devastated the Bering Sea in 2012 and the predictions are looking pretty grim for the upcoming opilio crab, aka snow crab,  season in January.  Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find links for extra reading materials on these subjects and more.  Also check out the twitter posts from the captains and crew of the Deadliest Catch for their latest updates from the sea.

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Commercial Fishing Video Of The Day | Second To None | Bering Sea Crabbing


 

Another season of Bering Sea Crabbing is just around the corner. Cub Jensen has been making great videos of his crabbing trips for the past couple of years. Deadliest Catch fans can get their crab fix with well edited piece from the 2012-2013 crab season aboard the Excalibur.