crabbers

Klas Stolpe / AP Photo

The Alaska red king crab fishery featured on the reality show, "Deadliest Catch," is facing an uncertain start because of the federal government's partial shutdown, and a late opening could have ripple effects in Japan.

AP Photo

On the reality TV show “The Deadliest Catch,” you see the crew of the Northwestern enduring storms and other dangers while crab fishing in the Bering Sea in the middle of winter.

You might be surprised to learn that the Northwestern and the hundreds of other boats that make up the North Pacific Fishing Fleet are not based in Alaska. Rather, they travel thousands of miles south each year to tie up in Seattle.

So, why is the fleet based here? There certainly are more convenient ports closer to the fishing grounds. The reasons have to do with water, weather and people. Oh, and tradition plays a part.

Read more on I Wonder Why ...?

With more people taking up crabbing in Puget Sound, the people who police the harvest are seeing an uptick in illegal activity. Officials say the illegal activity is a major threat to future crab populations.

Tom Banse / N3

To consumers, the welter of eco-labels on various food products can be nebulous or confusing. But the first crab fishery on the West Coast to get a green friendly label says it is seeing a really quick payoff.