DUTCH HARBOR, AK, The Starting Point for the Deadliest Catch Fishermen

When viewing Deadliest Catch we always see the docks and an occasional view of the Russian Orthodox church, so here are a few tidbits about the little city that houses the busiest internationl fishing port in the United States…UNALASKA/DUTCH HARBOR ALASKA

Remote Aleutian town is key to Bering Sea fishing

By Leon Unruh / Alaska.com

 Unalaska, Alaska, is the town. Dutch Harbor is where the big fishing boats dock, where the airplanes land and where the military post was bombed in World War II.

Unalaska and Dutch just want to keep that straight. And even though the areas are adjacent with very little else around them for hundreds of miles, they have their own ZIP codes.

Unalaska, population 4,300, is on Unalaska Island in the Aleutian Chain, 800 miles from Anchorage. Dutch Harbor — the nation’s top fishing port for more than a decade — is the part of the city on Amaknak Island, which is tied to Unalaska by bridge.

These Western Alaska twins share some things: the stormy environment and a dependence on fishing in the Bering Sea.

Early settlers were Unangan people, now known as Aleuts, who lived in two dozen settlements on the islands. Many were enslaved and moved by the Russians to the Pribilofs to harvest fur seals. Current archaeology projects are finding remnants of that old civilization.

In 1825, the first Russian Orthodox church was built. The founding priest, Ivan Veniaminov, translated the scripture into Aleut about this time as well. The cathedral was rebuilt in the mid-1850s as the new Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Ascension, which stands today and incorporates remnants of the original church. At one time on the American Heritage list of most endangered landmarks, it was renovated in the 1990s.

The Japanese bombed Unalaska in June 1942, two months after the city was incorporated, in the same campaign in which they seized Kiska and Attu islands. Almost all of the remaining Aleuts were interned by the United States in Southeast Alaska during the war, and the church was nearly destroyed by U.S. troops. It held together, however, and is the oldest Russian Orthodox cruciform-style church in North America.

The area has sport fishing for salmon and monster halibut, and birders are fond of the Aleutians’ seabird colonies. The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is in the area.

Air service is provided by Alaska Airlines. Once a month between April and September, the Alaska Marine Highway System sends a ferry over from Kodiak. The final ferry of the season is scheduled to arrive in mid-September; it’ll depart for Kodiak five hours later.

Hotels in town include the Grand Aleutian Hotel, overlooking Margaret Bay. There are tour companies, the Museum of the Aleutians and some hills to climb. Visitors should keep in mind that most of the land on Unalaska is owned by the Ounalashka Corp., a Native corporation, and a permit is required for crossing the land.

Unalaska has 10 major docks for fishing, fuel and cargo ships. It’s a waypoint for barge traffic up from Anchorage up the western coast of Alaska.

January temperatures range from 25 to 35; summers range from 43 to 53. The average annual precipitation is 57.7 inches, and the average wind speed is 17 mph.

This entry was posted in Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor, Unalaska. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to DUTCH HARBOR, AK, The Starting Point for the Deadliest Catch Fishermen

  1. daniel flynn says:

    im looking for imployment here ,however that means i cant pick up and move w/ out it being for shur.Whats the hire rate of just getting (picked up) here .and if i did go where would i go there?I REALLY want to be a crab fisherman,so could you please respond.

  2. opilia says:

    Daniel…There’s quite a few people posting here about lo0king for work (kind of like you are), but ALL I can do is advise you to check the links I’ve listed on the sidebar of this site. Some of them have advice for people looking for work in Alaska.

  3. Mike Rabine says:

    Eat crab and shut up!

  4. ceres says:

    Quite interesting place. I live in Brazil (normaly 25 º C) but I love cold weather, really cold. You’re lucky.

    Hugs from Brazil

    Ceres

  5. Celtic Rose says:

    I love cold weather. Did the Polar Bear plunge this morining.1- F. Refreshing and great after a late night.
    We set a new record for most people participating. There was a guy behind me that said ‘”I need to go back to Prudho Bay. Invited him and his friends over for bbq ribs and warm liquids. It was New Years after all.

    Celtic Rose

  6. Tom says:

    -21c here in new zealand at winter time, brrr. And daniel i wouldn’t go to dutch unless you have a job lined up, i’ve been readin and it can be up to $750 for a ticket to dutch from anchorage and then you have all your wet weather gear

  7. Cristian says:

    Hi, my name is Cristian and Im from Romania.
    Im a big Deadliest Catch fan.I know all the ships.
    Master Carl,Saint Patrick,Rosie G,American Star,Galaxy,Big Valley,Ocean Challenger and the last is the proud freighter Selendang Ayu,wich was half-broken in 2005.
    I wrote a letter to Overa Roger,the American Star skipper and i really would apreciate if you could send me on mail his address.Honestly,Cristian

  8. Would it be possible to buy passage on one of the boats? I would be unable to work but perhaps do the cooking. I’m not an ABS anymore but the experience would be most rewarding. Thanks for your time.

  9. David Willman says:

    what type of navigational software are you using on your computers to show the geographic layout of the ocean floor? Also what is the best starting point when looking for a posion on board a vessel out there?I am a captain in the gulf of mexico anad have been for a decade and am bored to death, how do i get out there?

  10. NATE QUINN says:

    Hello,
    My name is Nate Quinn and I am very interested in joining a crew for the upcoming crab season. I have spent the last 10 years as DECK BOSS aboard the lobster boat F/V William Bowe. We are featured on Discovery Channel’s show “LOBSTERMAN:JEOPARDY AT SEA.” I have copies to send as part of a resume as well as a recommendation from my captain.
    Although I have not fished the Bering Sea, I have been in similar working situations. The William Bowe fishes 200 miles east of Massachussetts. Trips last from 10-14 days at sea. 36 hour work marathons in 50 knot winds and 30 foot seas on the 72 foot vessal are standard.
    I am 35 years old, married with three boys and reside on Cape Cod, Massachussetts. I am the ultimate team player, responsible and respectful. I am mentally stong and willing to commit to the next new challenge in my life.
    Please let me know if there is a site available. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks
    Nate Quinn
    774-722-1928
    natecc@comcast.net

  11. Barry Flowers says:

    how can I apply to a vessal for crab fishing?

  12. nate quinn says:

    Hello,
    My name is Nate Quinn and I am very interested in joining a crew for the upcoming crab season. I have spent the last 10 years as DECK BOSS aboard the lobster boat F/V William Bowe. We are featured on Discovery Channel’s hit show “LOBSTERMAN:JEOPARDY AT SEA.” I have copies to send as part of a resume as well as a recommendation from my captain.
    Although I have not fished the Bering Sea, I have been in similar working situations. The William Bowe fishes 200 miles east of Massachussetts. Trips last from 10-14 days at sea. 36 hour work marathons in 50 knot winds and 30 foot seas on the 72 foot vessal are standard.
    I am 35 years old, married with three boys and reside on Cape Cod, Massachussetts. I am the ultimate team player, responsible and respectful. I am mentally stong and willing to commit to the next new challenge in my life.
    Please let me know if there is a site available. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks
    Nate Quinn
    774-722-1928
    natecc@comcast.net

  13. Brodz says:

    dear god y cnt u all take the hint!!! its been said soooooooo many times on DC unless u know 1 of the captains or someone who works on a crab boat, the best way to get a job up there is to go there! now i know its not always feasible what with it being quite expensive but this is not a job agency…it is a place for fans to come and gain vital information about a tv program and way of life that we all love! if u want to get a job go down the local unemployment agency and stop cluttering these pages with inane drivel about how great a team player you are…… sheesh…

  14. Annette Powell says:

    You published Nate’s address and you state above you do not publish addresses.

    PLEASE DO NOT PUBLISH MY ADDRESS

    MY REPLY:

    ‘DITTO’ TO BRODZ. I LOVE THIS SHOW AND THESE ILLITERATES WHO CAN’T EVEN SPELL OR WRITE ARE REALLY IRRITATING TREATING THIS SITE AS AN EMPLOYMENT AGENCY. CAN’T YOU SCAN YOUR REPLIES AND ELIMINATE THIS TRASH FROM ALL THE INTERESTING REPLIES?

    THX AND GOOD LUCK!

  15. opilia says:

    Annette, to answer your question…Yes, we’ll be eliminating job applications soon and we’ll have a place set up specifically for people who can’t help but send in resumes, addresses, phone numbers etc…

  16. Pappy says:

    I’m the Captain of a 70 foot Highway Schooner and like the captains and crews of the Alaskan fishing fleet, I too know what it’s like to be out there on the dark stormy waves of the big road!
    So here’s to ya brave laddies of the sea! I lift a glass of hot buttered rum to calm waters and a safe return to harbor!

    Pappy and
    The Legendary American Express
    3 million safe miles and 35 years

    Buffalo Springfield Transport inc.
    Refrigerated Seafood Haulage

  17. bfree says:

    Dude, first of all. Jobs are hard to find and most individuals will not even be considered unless you’ve been on a crab vessel before, know someone OR have past and extensive commercial fishing experience. A lot of guys fishing on these boats are losers, they take the risks they do because they are running from the law, can’t get a job doing anything else or have other issues. There are certainly the exceptions to the rule and you will find some really good, smart intelligent folks out there but they are far and few in between. It’s enormously hard work and Alaskans are fiercly independent and have their own “good ‘ole boy” culture. If you are from Alaska, you’ll likely be shunned anyway unless you turn out to be friggn’ all star..you can earn their respect but like I said, most these guys are real losers in life. My advice is DON’t even think about it…the glamour is over after the first day and then it’s just tolerating being miserable the rest of the time…until you get your paycheck…and that’s only if you do well and as a newby you won’t get a full share if you don’t have the experience…

  18. Chris Olivares says:

    Hello
    I am Chris Olivares from Oxnard CA i wonder how old you have
    to be to apply for the Bering sea i just love the show Deadliest Catch and i love to fish for anything please send me feed back on my question thank you.
    chrslvrs@yahoo.com

  19. I just want to say how much I love the show, Deadliest Catch! I now live in Florida but spent a lot more time within the deep sea fishing industry than most females!

    Growing up in Philly and having my sister in New England, I grew up in sports stadiums, art museums and far out along the waters of New Jersey, Rhode Island and Cape Cod. Not even close to Crab fishing, but relate to the show…a bit.

    My daughter tells me I must have been a fisherman in a past life…who knows!

    Hope Phil is doing well, broke my heart to see him left on th dock. Get well and whip ur boys back into shape.

    Fishermen are the best dates! LOL! Guys, anyone single on the show? BE SAFE!

    Kelly.

  20. The King of Seafood Haulage
    Buffalo Springfield Transport Inc.

    2009 Another great season of seafood haulage and were always seeking good drivers.
    If you think you got what it takes to be out here and away from home for several months, send us your information, we’d like to hear from you, that is if your highly experienced, motivated, safe and don’t mind driving shiny new Petes and making lot’s of money!

    Oh! and hats off to the entire fishing fleet, Captains,Skippers,Crewmen, Longshoremen and warehouse labor for keeping us truckers in jobs!
    Without you! we’d all be sittin at home these days, playin solitaire and countin flowers on the wall!!

    Richard( Pappy )Primeau, President
    Buffalo Springfield Transport Inc.
    International Seafood Haulage of America
    buffalospringfield@sympatico.ca

  21. briar says:

    hey deadliest catch im from dutch harbor 2. my dad is brandon williams from the lisa marie, i have three aunties and 2 twin cousins and one energizer cous i love dem all

  22. Pingback: Still in Dutch « Island Fitness

  23. brandon says:

    hey Briar! its your dad. you forgot to mention that your aunty Danielle was the bartender that served the captains while they made their wager in seasons two and three!

  24. Galasso says:

    cool picsxxx

  25. Pat Black says:

    I was looking for a good shrimp recipe for my huz and somehow ended up here. This is a very entertaining site, I really like what Annette had to say… too funny. (Don’t use my email address either please!) Yeah, if you can’t spell well enough to fill out a job application, what makes you think you belong on a fishing boat? You have to be strong and smart to make it as a crab fisherman – especially on the freezing cold ocean working insanely long hours. It’s not for the feable minded. They’ll cut you up and use you as bait. I love the ‘Deadliest Catch’, and have a lot more appreciation of how seafood ends up on my plate! Thanks, you manly fishermen, for the food and entertainment. Take care, and be safe.

  26. osman dinç says:

    yaptığınız iş olağaüstü sizler çok dayanıklı özel insanlarsınız ingilixce bilmediğim için türkçe yazıyorum umarım tercüme ettirebilirsiniz sizlerin çalımalarını belgesellerde usanmadan izliyorum başarılarınızın daim olmasını dilerim umarım ailelerinizle mutlu bir hayat geçirirsiniz saygılarımla osman din türkiye mersin

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