Estimates of Jeff Silva’s net worth vary wildly — one site says $500,000, another says $10 million — but the Deadliest Catch: Bloodline star was certainly hoping to boost his fortunes in the Discovery show’s recent third season. As Discovery described in a press release, Silva and costars Josh Harris and Casey McManus — the three business partners behind Ula’Ula Fish Co. — were looking to meet the 3,000-pound weekly fish quota in Hawaii.
That kind of successful off-season fishing operation was a dream of Harris’ father, late Deadliest Catch star Phil Harris, Discovery adds. But to learn more about his dad, Harris has to reconnect with his estranged half-brother Shane. “Now this is an opportunity for Shane to join Josh, Casey, and Jeff on a fishing adventure that will hopefully rebuild their brotherly bond and provide them with a big payday.”
Silva had hesitations about ‘Deadliest Catch: Bloodline.’
According to a 2020 West Hawaii Today profile, Harris and McManus struck up a friendship with Silva while fishing together off the coast of Kona, a district of the Big Island of Hawaii. TV producers latched onto the idea that the Ula’Ula trio and other Hawaii fisherman could catch large fish in small boats, and once footage made its way back to Los Angeles, Discovery execs got interested, too.
But some Kona-area residents were worried that a TV reality show would exploit the region and draw unwanted attention. And Silva, who lives in Miloliʻi on the Kona coast, was protective of his home, so he shared his concerns about the prospective show with Discovery during the show’s two-year development process. “Some thought I was going to show secrets,” he told West Hawaii Today. “If I wouldn’t show anyone here something, why would I show the whole world?”
He realized the reality show “could actually end up being good” for Kona’s fishing charters.
Silva wasn’t worried about newcomers encroaching on their business, as he explained to the newspaper: “It’s like this: everyone wants a good meal but not many hungry people want to open a restaurant. Yes, people do see the show and want to come fishing, but they aren’t buying houses and boats and moving in on us. They’d fail anyway. This could actually end up being good for the Kona charter boats. I flip those guys all the inquiries. I don’t want to take anyone fishing.”
He also said, “The massive amount of exposure is good for everyone, which is primarily why I agreed to be a part. Sure, I can see why guys were nervous at first, and some still are, but I think there is far more positive at play here than negative.”
Silva wanted ‘Deadliest Catch: Bloodline’ viewers to see “the struggle of what it takes” to catch fish.
In an interview on MattieC’s Sports 4 You & Me last year, Silva said his goal with Deadliest Catch: Bloodline was to show the harsh realities of fishing in Hawaii, especially when larger operations are catching “mega-tons” of fish. “I wanted to show every person [who] likes to eat fish—whether it’s here or far — the struggle of what it takes to catch one of these things,” he said.
“It’s not easy, and there’s less and less and less of them around, [and] they’ve gotten smaller over the years,” he observed. “And to me, it’s something that needs to be noted — that we’re impacting our fisheries on a life-threatening scale, and we can’t look at selling fish in our industry the way that we’ve been doing it for the last 50, 60 years. Or there’s not going to be anything left.”