'Wicked Tuna' Premiere Addresses Major Changes for Show in Season 10

Wicked Tuna Season 10 kicks off on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on the National Geographic Channel with a 90-minute episode. The show will address the changes forced upon the highly competitive fishermen due to the coronavirus pandemic. They all had to work together to meet challenges, like a sudden drop in demand for bluefin tuna because of restaurants being closed or only open at a lower capacity. It all resulted in lower demand and lower prices for their fish.

"We didn't see the prices we saw in the past, but it was a fun year to participate in because we wanted it to be fun," Capt. Dave Marciano, who leads his team on the renovated Hard Merchandise, told the Gloucester Daily Times. "We didn't make the money like past years, but we were fortunate in this climate to be doing anything at all. A lot of people are unable to do whatever it is they do, and many restaurants never opened fully." So the eight captains on Wicked Tuna and fish buyers had to create a plan to not flood the market while still keeping themselves in business.

Marciano said they hoped to present a "very positive" season for viewers at home. "Collectively we all have seen enough negativity, between elections and the pandemic," Marciano said. "We truly want people to have fun watching this show and forget about their worries. And I think we accomplished that."

The season also includes the return of Capt. Paul Hebert, who faced a personal tragedy when his father, Donald Hebert, died of COVID-19 early in the pandemic. Hebert was filming the spinoff Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks in North Carolina at the time and was not allowed to visit his father. His father's death was "one of the worst things I've ever been through," Hebert told the Daily Times. Like Marciano, Hebert also hopes the new season will entertain viewers at home during a difficult time.

"We worked as hard as we possibly could, and we put a lot of time in my boat because my boat is slower, but it paid off," the captain of the Wicked Pissah said. "We are excited for this season and everyone is going to see how we all came together in this pandemic and we all helped each other out. I think the world has had enough with all the fighting, and it goes to show you when times are really tough, people who are competitive can work together."

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Although the eight Wicked Tuna captains put a hold on their rivalries, Marciano said this was the "most fun season yet" for him. They all agreed to limit themselves and only sold fish to buyers three days a week. Captains T.J. Ott, Dave Carraro, Tyler McLaughlin, and Bob Cook also returned for the new season. Captains Jack Patrician and Spurge Krasowski are participating for the first time.