Cowboys of the Sea follows Alaska’s year round commercial fishing industry. We venture north, to the harsh working environments that people are faced with here. We learn about the fishermen’s life aboard their boats, the workers in the processing facilities, the bush pilots flying seaplanes to scout or aid their comrades, and the Departments of Fish and Game representatives who must oversee everything. We follow the process from the harvest to the marketplace.
The series shows how the purse seines net fishery and the long line fishery operate, all year round. Purse seine fishing involves large ships with massive nets that literally scoop the fish out of the water, picking up to 15,000lbs of fish at a time. Long line fishermen send out miles and miles of line with thousands of hooks, looking to catch fish such as halibut, whilst battling the brutal Alaskan elements. Just as competitive, but even more brutal, is the annual Sock-Eye Salmon Fishing – where rival boats literally smash into each other to serve the best catch.