The Environment

Lawlessness on the High Seas

October 18, 2019  • Aspen Ideas to Go

One of the most lawless places on earth is the high seas – remote waters, often hundreds of miles from shore. These largely ungoverned waters play host to criminal acts like sea slavery, gun running, human trafficking, and abuse of stowaways. “The lack of protections for the people who work above the water line and the creatures below, I think, is a huge problem,” says New York Times investigative reporter Ian Urbina. Urbina spent five perilous years jumping aboard fishing vessels and talking with the victims of these inhumanities. His book Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier, chronicles their stories and what can be done to protect workers and the wild places they frequent. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, interviews Urbina.

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