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Interview: Captain Keith from Discovery Channel's 'Deadliest Catch'

Captain Keith Colburn of The Wizard
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As part of Discovery Channel's "Alaska Week" of programming, tonight at 9pm is the season premiere of "Deadliest Catch" and over the past four seasons we've seen some incredible sights as these brave men harvest the King and Snow crab we, in the lower 48, love to nosh on while sitting in our warm, safe, and cozy restaurants and houses. To say that these guys have a dangerous workplace is an understatement - every season of the show has included footage of injuries as they happen as well as reports of other vessels sinking with men losing their lives in the frigid waters near Alaska's Aleutian Islands.Captain Keith Colburn owns and skippers the Wizard, one of the larger vessels in the series. We had a chance to talk with him by phone while he was finishing up a promotional tour for the season premiere. Be sure to check out his website and blog which includes a full history of The Wizard as well has his recent testimony before Congress to discuss the impacts offshore oil drilling could have on the fisheries around the Aleutian Islands.

Captain Keith is on the cutting edge in many respects: he's a blogging crabber, he has a love for modern communications equipment, he sees the effects of global warming firsthand and is sensitive to them, and he's doing his part in an effort to mitigate the effects of global warming and preserve the environment by educating people and politicians about how fisheries work.

Listen to the entire interview here:

LAist: We noticed you were in Washing DC to testify before Congress

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Captain Keith: I was testifying about oil exploration on the outer continental shelf. I'm not completely opposed to offshore oil exploration but there are sensitive areas including the bay in which I fish.

LAist: "Deadliest Catch" is all about the immediacy of being out on the boat and fishing
but there's a lot more to it than that isn't there?

Captain Keith: We are out on the water fishing for 6 months out of the year so I have a lot of people say to me, "Oh wow, you get 6 months off" and that just isn't the case. In the off season we have a lot of administrative work: licensing, permitting, getting the boat ready, and for some of us we take the next step - we get into the politics of the fisheries. You don't just throw your line in the water and hope you catch something. There is a very complex set of regulations around the fishery and I'm very involved in that.