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April 30, 2013

'Wicked Tuna' sets sail for filming Season 3

Some of Gloucester’s favorite fishing captains will be back for a third season of reality television on National Geographic’s “Wicked Tuna,” based in the nation’s oldest seaport.

The show recently set ratings records in the network’s history with its April 21 episode when it scored a series-high, hooking in more than 1.2 million viewers. The first series hooked viewers around the globe, finding its way into 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages.

Now, Season 3 means film crews will be in town again when the tuna season officially opens on June 1.

The local fishermen are thrilled at the success of the show and will be ready to battle it out again during the coming season as they hunt one of the “world’s smartest and fastest fish.” The giant bluefin, which is at the top of the food chain, can weigh upwards of 1,500 pounds and exceed more than 10 feet in length. The fishermen, however, usually pull in fish between 400 and 800 pounds with just a rod, the way it has been done for centuries in a man vs. fish scenario.

Adding to the excitement of the hunt is the lucrative nature of the fishery, with one “monstah” fish bringing in upwards of $20,000, which creates rivalry among the fishermen, some whose livelihood depends on their success at sea. If a fishing vessel returns to shore with no fish, then the captain is out thousands of dollars in costs for fuel and provisions.

The second season — which concludes in the United States with a two-part season finale on May 5 and May 12 — is about to go global again.

To that end, Gloucester-based Capt. Dave Marciano was sent to Croatia a few weeks ago to film a promotional ad for the network for the premiere of Season 2 in Europe. For a fisherman who never travels anywhere, he enjoyed his trip to the Adriatic Sea and to a country where the ancient Romans once ruled.

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