Dutch Harbor Alaska

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Dutch Harbor Alaska

Dutch Harbor is the name for the port of Unalaska, Alaska.  Unalaska is located in one of the very western most of the Aleutian Islands.  Its population is a mere 3836 people.  It has an elevation of 13ft and a total area of 212.3 squares, and is located in the Alaska Time zone of the United States (UTC-9).  Unalaska is also the largest fisheries port in the United States in terms of volume of seafood caught.  The port of Unalaska, as well as over half its population, is on Amaknak Island.  Amaknak Island is connect to Unalaska by a bridge and is within the city limits.  The port (and by extension, the area) is known as “Dutch Harbor” because the Russians who landed there though that it was a Dutch ship that entered the harbor first.

As referenced above, the major fishing of Dutch Harbor Alaska is for Bering Sea king crab.  This is an incredibly dangerous profession.  It is said that the chance of dying as a king crab fisherman is approximately 90 times higher than that of a normal worker.  In short, during king crab fishing season in Dutch Harbor, normally one fisherman dies every single week.  The main causes of death are hypothermia and drowning.  The environment of the arctic waters, restless sea, and uncertain weather makes such fates incredibly easy to happen.  The cold is especially bad, with ice sometimes forming so thickly that boat the fisherman is on capsizes.  Another common cause is heavy injury caused by the enormous, heavy machinery and equipment used in order to fish king crab.

The Discovery Channel’s documentary style show, the Deadliest Catch’s main focus is Dutch Harbor’s crabbing fleet and fishermen.  Just hearing that a show with that sort of title has interest in Dutch Harbor’s main business shows just how seriously dangerous that industry is. (Despite being so lucrative that a king crab fisherman may earn $1000 in a single day.)  The Deadliest Catch shows what life is really like on board an Alaskan crab-fishing ship during the king crab season, and has been doing so ever since its airdate in 2005.  This show has become extremely popular and now amazingly airs in over one hundred fifty different countries.


Source by Cj Maguire

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