A little round tin is an ignominious way for the magnificent tuna fish to end its days. But season it up, add a big glob of mayo, a squeeze of lemon juice and a couple of drops of Tabasco and take comfort in the fact it didn’t gasp to death in vain while you swallow it for lunch.
Supplying your favourite sandwich sellers with this tasty treat are weatherbeaten fishermen like those on Wicked Tuna (Spike, 9pm, 29 March). Getting a tuna fish fix is not as easy as opening an icky tin for this bunch.
They all chug out into the choppy North Atlantic from Gloucester, Massachusetts in the early hours of the morning. They have just 10 weeks to catch enough bluefin tuna to earn enough to keep them in baguettes and jacket potatoes for a year. And there is “no guarantee of a payoff”.
But if they bait a greedy bluefin they hit big. In January, a Japanese sushi restaurant splashed out £80,000 on a fat 200kg specimen, so a good catch can mean big bucks. But tuna fishing also means an “investment in time, equipment and money” just as tuna stocks are depleting. And the “competition is brutal”.
So were the show’s gaudy soundtrack, flashy edits and endless recaps. But the sophisticated on-board software, which pinpointed three bluefin as they swam under the boat and sounded the alarm for the crew to get their rods out, was nifty.
Shame they let them get away. But though this was episode one for the UK, the show has run for five seasons and 41 episodes in the US. So at least it’s hooking viewers.