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'Deadliest Catch' captains have reportedly left the popular Discovery series

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deadliest-catchImage Credit: DiscoveryIn a shocking development involving Discovery’s popular reality show about crab fisherman, Deadliest Catch stars Sig Hansen and Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand have reportedly left the show.  The trio sent this statement to the Hollywood Reporter Tuesday: “We have been through a lot over the past year and unfortunately given the current situation with Discovery we are unable to continue participating in Deadliest Catch. It has been a fantastic ride, and we wish the best to all of the amazing and supportive Catch fans we have met over the years.”

A Discovery spokesman said a statement from the cable network is forthcoming.

Earlier this month, the Hillstrands were sued by Discovery over their involvement in a Catch spinoff. Discovery reportedly claims that the brothers failed to finish work on Hillstranded and is now seeking $3 million in damages. An attorney for the Hillstrands shot back by saying the lawsuit may force the men to sell their boats and fire their crews. Hansen decided to show solidarity for his fellow captains and backed the Hillstrands.

It’s unclear what the departures mean for the seventh season of the show, which is set to resume production next month. The first episode is supposed to include a scene in which the sons of the late Capt. Phil Harris scatter his ashes off of Dutch Harbor near Alaska. Harris’ tragic death helped Catch lure its biggest audience ever during the show’s sixth season.

The Hillstrand brothers co-captain Time Bandit on Deadliest Catch, while Hansen lords over Northwestern. Developing…