Million Dollar Catch

It’s been a stormy ride but the time has come to say goodbye to our brave fishermen when the season finale of the exciting local series Million Dollar Catch screens on Wednesday, April 29th at 7:30pm on 3.

Over the series Million Dollar Catch has taken viewers inside the dangerous world of deep-sea cray-fishing by introducing four New Zealand families who put their lives on the line to catch the underwater treasure that lies off the New Zealand coast.

Over the last 10 weeks audiences have followed these unique New Zealanders from a first person perspective. “It’s pretty good that people actually see what we do,” newcomer to the business and series star Rewi Bull tells Radio Live’s Marcus Lush.

“People get a better idea of what we actually do – they see that the crayfish don’t just jump on our boats, we actually have to go out and get them.”

And the reason Rewi and the others risk their lives to go out and catch the crayfish? Money. The crews only have a short time to get the crayfish to the Chinese markets which pay them NZ$70 per kilo.

“It adds up to a 60 million dollar a year industry,” says Rewi, who admits to having a bit of a soft spot for the tender meat.

“I do eat them but probably not as much as I should,” he says. “When I do have a feed I really enjoy it, I don’t know why we don’t eat it on the boat more.”

Rewi also explains why the season only last between late August and October. “The price has dropped right now,” he says.

“That’s why we don’t normally fish this time of the year. But prices in September and October were very good and this time of the year they normally taper off.”

So what does the fisherman do with his time off? “The boats are getting painted at the moment,” he says.

Make sure not to miss Rewi’s last run before the end of the crayfish season when Million Dollar Catch finals on Wednesday, April 29th at 7:30pm on 3.

Wednesday, February 25th at 7:30pm

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to trawl right down the coast of New Zealand to Stewart Island? Million Dollar Catch, premiering on Wednesday, February 25th at 7:30pm on 3, exposes the lives of the brave men who hit these high perilous seas between the months of late August to October.

Million Dollar Catch tells the stories of four New Zealand families who, in this short window of time, put their lives on the line to catch the underwater treasure that lies off the New Zealand coast – crayfish, which can earn them a fortune.

We meet these unique New Zealanders and follow their stories from a first person perspective. This hard edged documentary series rides the waves alongside the fishermen for eight weeks. The show reports the jeopardy and drama – the success and failure – and the compelling man versus sea story for the audience.

Driven by the series’ four families, the stories in Million Dollar Catch take viewers right inside the second roughest waters in the world all while exposing the lives of ordinary New Zealanders doing extraordinary things often in jaw dropping conditions.  

But this job is not only risky but it also has the extra pressure of an unforgiving schedule. The fishermen have a short season and the clock is always ticking. They must catch as many loads as possible before the end of another crayfish season.

However there’s more to the Million Dollar Catch then danger and high rewards, the series also tells a significant Maori success story. Lead character Vaughan Fisher, of Ngai Tahu, who has been fishing these waters for 23 years, now owns fishing assets worth well over 20 million dollars. 

But for Vaughan crayfish fishing is more then a job – it’s an all out family affair. Vaughan’s boat is crewed by his two sons and together they live for this region and its rich ancestral past.

So make sure to join Vaughan, his sons and the rest of the brave men who are putting it all on the line for money and adventure when Million Dollar Catch premieres on Wednesday, February 25th at 7:30pm on 3.