Wicked Tuna

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Wicked Tuna TV Poster Image
Fishing edu-tainment docu reels in lots of salty vocab.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series highlights the complicated issues surrounding blue fin fishing, ranging from how it sustains traditional fishing communities to the impact the overall industry is having on the ecosystem.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The captains are hard working and rough around the edges. Some of them purposely lie to other fisherman in order to send them off course and away from lucrative fishing waters.


Captains will yell and scream when deck hands lose a fish. The hooking, tying, harpooning, and cutting of fish is visible. Firecrackers are sometimes used to scare away sea gulls; dead sea gulls are occasionally shown hanging (illegally) from boats to scare away birds from the fishing sites.


Contains lots of audible language like "d---head," "prick," plus bleeped swearing ("s--t," "f--k"). Rude hand gestures are blurred.


Captains and crews often wear shirts and jackets bearing logos for various fishing industries, like Angela's Fish Industries, Inc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Beer drinking and cigarette smoking is visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wicked Tuna contains lots of swearing ("dick," "ass"; "s--t," "f--k" are bleeped), as well as images of (blurred) obscene gestures. The series offers a non-judgmental look at the work of specific blue fish tuna fishermen while discussing the negative impact this specific fishing industry is having on the species and the ocean's ecosystem. Captains and deck hands are rough around the edges -- they're sometimes shown yelling and screaming at each other and other fishermen, as well as smoking cigarettes and drinking beer. While they're hard working, they also deceive others in order to get ahead.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byfishyguy March 10, 2021

Better this year

The past couple of years this show has revolved around conflict, not fishing. Because of Covid, this year it has stopped being a competition to see who can be... Continue reading
Adult Written byClemson021 January 22, 2019
Teen, 14 years old Written byNASCARfan72 July 10, 2018

Great, educational show- but not always good role models for kids

EDUCATION- It gives people a great look at how the bluefin industry works, from regulations (minimum length 73 inches) and how fish are sold.

VIOLENCE- Most of... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old October 9, 2016


This show is a completely awesome fishing show. It has some bleeps in every episode and a little audible swearing but it's still probably okay for kids 7 a... Continue reading

What's the story?

WICKED TUNA looks at how fisherman from Gloucester, Massachusetts navigate the waters of the controversial blue fin tuna industry. It stars Bill Monte, the captain of the Bounty Hunter, Ralph Wilkins, the captain of the Odysea, Dave Marciano, captain of the Hard Merchandise, and Captain Dave Carraro of the Tuna.com sailing out to the Northern Atlantic to catch the endangered blue fin tuna, which can sell for tens of thousands of dollars per head to sushi restaurants around the world. Viewers get to see how the fisherman use individual rods and reels, harpoons, and brute strength to catch one blue fin at time. Catching enough of this fish to support themselves and their families isn't easy, thanks to the dwindling numbers of fish, strict U.S. blue fin fishing regulations, and the sneaky tactics used to keep each other away from lucrative fishing areas. In between show scenes, information about this species of tuna and details about the controversies surrounding the blue fish fishing industry is offered.

Is it any good?

The series offers a non-judgmental and informative look at the blue fish tuna fishing industry by showing it from the point of view of tuna boat captains, who are trying to make an honest living and preserve a way of a life that goes back three centuries. Meanwhile, it offers details about the detrimental impact the industry is having on the blue fin and on the overall ecosystem.

It's a complicated issue, but one that is sometimes overshadowed by the drama brought on by the captains and their crews attempting to bait, hook, reel in, and tie blue fins before wrestling them into their boats. Learning how much they sell each fish for is interesting too. Nonetheless, regardless of whether you are a fishing fan or not, there are some interesting lessons to learn here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about hunting and fishing. What are the pros and cons? Do you think TV shows like this one help raise awareness about some of the environmental and cultural issues around hunting and fishing? Or are they really designed to entertain people?

  • Why are there so many reality shows about fishermen? What other reality show trends do you notice? Why do you think there is so little variation in reality show programming?

TV details

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Themes & Topics

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