The F/V Cornelia Marie has been featured on most seasons of Deadliest Catch, except for season eight and most of season nine, but it has been integral to the series. The 2010 death of its captain, Phil Harris, took place in what was one of the series’—and reality television’s—best episodes ever. But it is not being filmed for season 13 of the hit Discovery Channel show.
That was revealed in a Facebook video by its now-captain Josh Harris, which has been watched more than 660,000 times and sad-faced more than 9,000 times since it was released Friday.
In the video, Josh says, in part:
…We do not have a camera crew aboard this king crab season. This was not our decision, and it was not made by the owners nor the captains of the Cornelia. This was not a dispute over money. This was simply a decision made by production at Discovery. They have creative control over pretty much everything that airs on Deadliest Catch and, you know, we respect that.
We are fishermen and we will be doing what we love to do this king crab season, but we will be doing it alone. The film crew has been like a family to us, and their absence will weigh heavy in our hearts. It has been a pleasure to take you on my journey as I’ve grown—as a son, a grandson, a brother, a father, and a fisherman, and a captain. Your support has meant the world to me and it’s been quite a ride having all of you right there by my side. You have been with me through some of the best times of my life, and you have been there for the absolute worst day of my life. I consider all of you part of my family, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
While that sounds like a permanent goodbye, a Discovery Channel representative told me that the decision is only for season 13, and thus it’s possible the boat will be followed in future seasons. It will not be followed for either the king crab or the opilio crab season.
So why was the boat dropped? A Discovery representative said that, “while it was a difficult decision, it was made to make the best show. We’ve followed different boats throughout the 13 seasons—including Josh, who re-joined with the Cornelia Marie just a few years back.”
Decisions are made by Original Productions, which produces the show, in collaboration with the network. “It was a very tough decision and a collaborative one between Original and Discovery,” the representative said.
While fans have reacted similarly to this person (“Boycott the show! This is bullshit, your Dad made that show, it won’t be the same without the Cornelia Marie and the Harris Family!”), Josh asks specifically in the video that “no petitions are needed—none of that stuff.”