There are few remaining frontiers on our planet. But perhaps the wildest, and least understood, are the world’s oceans: too big to police, and under no clear international authority, these immense regions of treacherous water play host to rampant criminality and exploitation.
Traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, wreck thieves and repo men, vigilante conservationists and elusive poachers, seabound abortionists, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled slaves and cast-adrift stowaways -- drawing on five years of perilous and intrepid reporting, often hundreds of miles from shore, Ian Urbina introduces us to the inhabitants of this hidden world. Through their stories of astonishing courage and brutality, survival and tragedy, he uncovers a globe-spanning network of crime and exploitation that emanates from the fishing, oil and shipping industries, and on which the world’s economies rely.
Both a gripping adventure story and a stunning exposé, this unique work of reportage brings fully into view for the first time the disturbing reality of a floating world that connects us all, a place where anyone can do anything because no one is watching.
Ian embarked on fishing boats and freighters, visited port towns, and scouted hidden outposts. He witnessed both environmental vigilantes and transgressors in action and faced a near-mutiny aboard a police ship conveying him to seek a meeting point miles from the coast. In the book, Ian explains how he pursued employment agencies and ship owners to hold them accountable for labor abuses, and traveling with a maritime repo man.
Combining high drama, an investigative reporter's eye for detail, and a commitment to social justice, The Outlaw Ocean is both a gripping adventure story and a stunning exposé of some of the most disturbing realities that lie behind fishing, shipping, and the entire global economy.