Deadliest Catch is modern Moby Dick. Alaska Crabbing is modern whaling. High danger, high monetary reward, archetypal masculinity, high uncertainty. the major new wrinkle is the introduction of regulation. whaling was completely unfettered (the danger came from needing to pursue whales wherever they could be found) whereas crabbing is tightly regulated and circumscribed (much of the danger comes overworking the crew because of the tight time frames in which crabbing is allowed). This reflects a fundamental shift in americanness, from Turnerian frontier to a monitored fishing wilderness, from laissez faire entrepreneurship to the need to fight and maneuver around a system of rules.
and yes, this insight would be way more intellectually exciting if both activities did not involve catching deep sea animals for money using boats.
PBS is showing a special on whaling, and something called MyTV shows Deadliest Catch.