Several reality shows centering around a particular profession have proved to be popular among the audiences, and ‘Wicked Tuna’ is one of them. This reality television series follows commercial fishermen and fisherwomen from Gloucester, Massachusetts, as they compete to catch the precious Atlantic bluefin tuna. The series first premiered on April 1, 2012, on National Geographic Channel and has got the fans hooked since then.
The viewers look forward to the entertaining bunch of people and their adventures at sea. Like most reality series, ‘Wicked Tuna’ brings along a lot of drama and shows some unbelievable stories. Since many of you may be wondering how much of what is shown in the series is real, we are here to clear that up. Let’s get started!
Is Wicked Tuna Scripted?
Over the years, there have been shocking accidents in the sea, and several cast members of ‘Wicked Tuna’ have made headlines for various reasons. Naturally, the show has spent its years on the air, with fans questioning its authenticity. The animal rights groups have particularly criticized the series since the Atlantic bluefin tuna is currently listed as “critically endangered” by the World Wildlife Foundation. For this reason, the series follows strict guidelines and only allows the fishing methods permitted by law. This means that the cast members can only use standard fishing rods, hand lines, or harpoons.
This brings us to another real aspect of the show that we do not see on-screen. The cast members are severely sleep-deprived when they go fishing since one is required to be alert and vigilant if they want a valuable haul. On an average, the crew members only get about two hours of sleep every night. What makes it even more taxing is the fact that they do not get to come home every night. Each fishing trip lasts for days because the fishing spots are not as close to the shore as the series makes it seem.
No wonder arguments between the cast members often turn fiery! Fans may remember the incident between Tyler McLaughlin and Ralph Wilkins, where the two came to blows. There have been incidents that may look like something out of a Hollywood film but were, in fact, real. In 2014, McLaughlin and the crew of PinWheel had to rescue the members of the sinking fishing vessel Miss Sambvca. The following year, McLaughlin was awarded the American Red Cross’ First Responder Award.
Another dramatic but true incident saw the crew members of the fishing vessel Christina and a coast guard save a pilot whose aircraft went down. He was flying over the water to guide the fishing vessels. No one can deny that fishing for bluefin tuna is particularly tricky and requires top-notch skills. Even though the producers cast interesting members to be part of the show, there is no doubt that they are all highly skilled in the profession, some of whom have also set world records.
The series is known for its healthy representation of the number of women in the male-dominated industry. The women in the series are among the few who are in this profession. Therefore, looking at all these factors, it does seem like ‘Wicked Tuna’ is as real as it gets. The reality show maintains its popularity and standing through a fine balance between the cast members’ niche skills and entertaining personalities.
Read More: Wicked Tuna Filming Locations