The good deeds of the “Bad Boys of the Bering Sea” have garnered the attention of Margaret Bauman of the Alaska Journal of Commerce. Bauman often covers events in the Alaskan crab fisheries, especially those connected to Discovery’s show, “Deadliest Catch.” Article is reprinted with written permission of Margaret Bauman…
Bering Sea boys promote Alaska king crab with fanfare
High-end purveyors of succulent wild Alaska king crab are incorporating everything from charity events to attire in a new campaign to promote the succulent shellfish.
Bering Sea Bad Boys, featuring some of the vessel captains who starred in the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” series, helped a children’s hospital charity in Sarasota, Fla., raise more than $44,000 in mid-August.
Four Bering Sea crab boat captains showed up for the event, which included an auction of items including a crab boat life preserver and a connoisseurs’ trip to Dutch Harbor in October to watch the king crab harvest start to come in.
“It was a huge success, and these guys (the crab captains) did it on their own dime,” said Eric Donaldson, who heads the offices of the Crab Broker in Sarasota.
Donaldson and Rob George of the Crab Broker office in Las Vegas have collaborated with the crab boat captains for public appearances and Bering Sea Bad Boys merchandise to promote the attributes of wild Alaska crab over the competition, particularly Russian king crab.
“Everyone thinks when they go to the store it is Alaska king crab they are buying,” Donaldson said. As a processed product, king crab does not fall under the federal Country of Original Origin Labeling laws, so many shoppers purchase Russian crab, which does not come from a sustainable fishery. The Russian crab generally sells at a lower price.
Also in August, the crab captains made appearances at Dover Downs, Del., known for its casinos and horse racing, and at Bob Chinn’s Crab House in Chicago. The latter featured a king crab dinner and autographs from the crab captains for all in attendance.
Chinn’s is the biggest independent user of Alaska crab, Donaldson said.
“That’s all he buys. He does $24 million a year out of one restaurant, and he buys exclusively Alaska,” he said.
“We’re out there promoting Alaska king crab, the sustainability, the health of the resource, which is huge for everybody,” said Donaldson, in an interview Sept. 12.
A portion of our proceeds from merchandise sold from the Web site, www.beringseabadboys.com, will go to St. Jude’s Hospital.
So far there are Bad Boys of the Bering Sea mouse pads, crab claw lighters and T-shirts bearing messages that include “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “Eat Me Hot or Cold” and “Russian crab sucks. Any questions?”
It was Donaldson who came up with the “Bad Boys” logo, “because we wanted to do something with the skippers off ÔThe Deadliest Catch,’ but we couldn’t use ÔThe Deadliest Catch’ name,” he said.
Soon to come are hats, beer holders and more, Donaldson said.
“We have all kinds of stuff happening. The main thing is for everyone to know we’re out there swinging the bat to get more attention for Alaska crab,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Crab Broker is counting on all the publicity brought to the crab captains from “The Deadliest Catch” series to raise sales of Alaska king crab over its Russian counterpart.
“They are such down-to-earth, great people,” Donaldson said of the crab captains, who paid their own way to the Florida fund-raiser.