Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Business Wire
Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

WICKED TUNA Teams Up With Wounded Warrior Project for a Special Memorial Day Episode

May 11, 2021 GMT


On the 10 th season of WICKED TUNA, the captains of Gloucester, Massachusetts, have faced unprecedented challenges, including limited fishing days, reduced catch quotas, lower paychecks and the devastating global pandemic. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the captains have put old rivalries aside to support each other like never before. The fleet is about to prove they can take their generosity one step further by giving back to the veteran community as well.

On a special episode of WICKED TUNA, airing Sunday, May 30, at 9/8c on National Geographic, follow the captains as they team up with Wounded Warrior Project ® (WWP), a nonprofit that supports veterans and active duty service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness or wound while serving our country. Captain Dave Marciano of the Hard Merchandise has been a longtime supporter of WWP, regularly donating charter trips, and has seen first-hand just how powerful the simple act of fishing is for these men and women. In this especially difficult time, Marciano invites his fellow captains to come together and become part of this powerful and life-changing experience. The captains invite wounded warriors from across New England to join them as they work to bring in bluefin, with the approximation of the proceeds of one fish per boat donated back to the organization.


“I’ve been involved with Wounded Warrior Project for years, and every summer, I take a large group out for a charter fishing trip. But this year, I’m excited to get the other captains involved,” Marciano says. “This is something that has always been important to me, so I can’t thank my fellow captains enough for coming together and making this happen.”

The only people more excited to head out fishing than the captains are the veterans they are paired with. When Jeffrey Nunez got the opportunity to sign on with Captain Dave Marciano, he jumped at the chance. After more than five years in the Marine Corps, Jeff began to transition out of the military when he realized healing his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would be an ongoing process. He views being on the water with Marciano as part of his recovery.


Tim Byrne also lives with the symptoms of PTSD after returning from Afghanistan. Over the course of 100 combat missions, Tim was lucky to have never been seriously physically injured, but witnessing the deaths of countless others took a toll. Tim had a hard time reintegrating into society until he got involved with WWP and is excited for this unique opportunity to head out on the water with Captain T.J. Ott aboard the Hot Tuna.

Chloe Enderton spent most of her time in the military with the infantry. During her first deployment, she was in a vehicle that struck an IED, leaving her physically wounded and with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Timothy Aponte was in the military for almost 10 years. Just 53 days before he was scheduled to return home, he suffered a TBI, as well as injuries from a rocket-propelled grenade. After hearing of the sacrifices Tim gave to his country, Fat Tuna ’s captain, Bob Cook, is determined to help Tim bring in a “fat tuna” of his own during Tim’s first time fishing for bluefin.

Jeremy and Nicole Lyon met in Afghanistan, where they both sustained TBIs in the same attack while on an outing for coffee. The explosion left them wounded and suffering from PTSD, but there was a silver lining from that day—the two “battle buddies” married and have been together for more than four years. Now, the two will be competing against one another alongside Captain Paul Hebert on the Wicked Pissah and Captain Dave Carraro on the FV-Tuna.com to see who can bring in a bluefin first.

“Connecting veterans together with their community is an important part of recovery,” said Jen Silva, Wounded Warrior Project chief program officer. ”We are grateful to Captain Dave Marciano and all the captains of WICKED TUNA for their support of our mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.”

In addition to the generosity from the captains in donating their time, National Geographic has donated $30,000 in support of the Wounded Warrior Project and its mission.

Filmed on location in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and the surrounding waters, WICKED TUNA follows a group of salty fishermen from the nation’s oldest seaport as they make their living the way it’s been done for centuries—rod and reel fishing, one catch at a time—all in pursuit of the bluefin tuna. The series gives viewers an in-depth look at the intense battles, fierce competition, crushing losses and major paydays of the country’s toughest captains. For commercial fishermen and women, the directive is simple: Catch a fish or go home without a paycheck.

WICKED TUNA is produced for National Geographic by Lionsgate’s Pilgrim Media Group. For Pilgrim Media Group, executive producers are Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols. For National Geographic, supervising producer is Drew Jones, executive producer is Chris Kugelman, vice president of Production is Matt Renner and senior vice president of Production and Development is Alan Eyres.

About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project ® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.

About National Geographic Partners
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 132 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

About Pilgrim Media Group
Pilgrim Media Group, a Lionsgate company headed by Emmy ® -winning producer Craig Piligian, produces a diverse slate of unscripted and scripted programming across all platforms. The company is behind hit series and projects like “Ghost Hunters,” “American Chopper,” “Fast N’ Loud,” the “Street Outlaws” and Wicked Tuna franchises, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” “Bring It!” and “The Ultimate Fighter.” Among Pilgrim’s feature documentaries are the award-winning films “Soufra” and “Tre Maison Dasan,” now streaming on Hulu and PBS.org, respectively; revelatory profile “The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story” for YouTube Premium; and Sundance’s 2020 Festival Favorite Award winner, “Giving Voice.” Global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) is a majority investor in Pilgrim.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210511005893/en/

CONTACT: Chad Sandhas, 310-721-8095,chad.sandhas@natgeo.com

Kayla Ibe, 412-759-6339,kayla@high10media.com



SOURCE: National Geographic

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 05/11/2021 11:20 AM/DISC: 05/11/2021 11:21 AM