The Outlaw Ocean Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier characters ☆ 105


The Outlaw Ocean Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

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Ork of crime and exploitation that emanates from the fishing oil and shipping industries and on which the world's economies relyBoth a gripping adventure story and a stunning expos this uniue 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. In brief Fascinating horrifying compelling and dark 455In fullIan Urbina is a journalist This book contains a series of his reports about the Oceans and the law or rather lack of it He has spent several years investigating these topics and compiling this wide ranging book The oceans are dangerous places and Ian himself has faced dangers while making these reports Freuently there is no real authority fin these remote places and eually no one to police them even if any authority was clear While the oceans are dangerous much of the danger here comes from those who work on it Freuently they exploit both it and fellow humansI enjoyed so much of this book It would be tempting to go through it chapter by chapter However that would simply spoil the book for other readers For this review I will simply mention two or three of the chapters that I found particularly interestingThe book starts and ends with stories about the environmental action group Sea Shepherd In the first one two Sea Shepherd boats are chasing a wanted fishing boat starting in the Antarctic and then going where the fishing boat runs too Frankly it read uite like a thriller and was an excellent start The second looks at their activities in 2016 trying to stop the Japanese whaling fleet despite there being an injunction against them again an excellent story However in these stories and the others in the book the author uses the context of the story to look at the global issues as well as the specifics He also generally manages to maintain a fairly even stance too although that is simply not possible in some cases Few aspects of this are simply black or white Ian draws this out very well in my opinionAn intriguing story in this book is about Women on Waves The organisation has a small boat They land in largely Catholic countries collect women who want an abortion and sail until they are outside the 12 mile limit This means that they are in international waters and so assisting women in having a medical abortion is not illegal The boat has an Austrian flag and so that also allows activity that would potentially be illegal otherwise This report allows the author to continue exploring the nature of flags of vessels including flags of convenience and the nature of maritime laws a constant theme here Broadening this out means the author considers the effect this behaviour providing abortions may have on the countries concerned by stimulating dialogueI find it so hard to simply find one interesting story in this collection There are so many things covered by this book that I think I'll just make a few points of interest • There are a number of stories about the sheer cruelty with which crew are treated There are bizarre approaches to legality of what is done commercially and what is allowed by countries or turned a blind eye to • The good guys can be very hard to identify sometimes If we still continue to kill whales what should we do about whales who have learnt to strip long line catches as fishermen reel them in the costs are significant • What are the economics of stowaways the costs to vessels can be high and that can lead to some troubling practices How about the transporting of people arrested by boat rather than by plane what might happen during extended sea voyages that could not happen any other way • There is time with the repo men who try and get ships back for people who are owed money fascinatingWhile maybe than I intended to say when I started this review these points are simply a window into a fascinating book There was not a single chapter that did not hold my attentionIt also felt like time travel as I witnessed things piracy whaling slavery privateers that I had previously assumed were safely locked in the past In many ways this uote sums up this book for meThis book should certainly make us think It would be all too easy to say that this is not our problem However it is our actions that lead to the abuse of both oceans and the people who work or are forced to work on them One of the points that the author makes very vividly is the fact that we cannot expect to buy cheap tins of responsibly sourced tuna fish without someone paying a high price If the idea of this book interests you do read it it is worthwhileNote I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttpsviewsonorguknon fictionth

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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 exploitationTraffickers and smugglers pirates and mercenaries wreck thieves and repo men vigilante conservationists and el. We follow Ian Urbina as he travels the world to uncover the dark side of life on the ocean He tells us about the exploited men and boys from poor countries desperate for work who become captives at sea We see how shady ship owners operators and recruiters take advantage of these workers to rake in billions With this collection of individual stories Urbina shows the breadth and scale of the problem He emphasizes the human peril over legal and environmental issues but these too are addressed We also get adventure and danger as Urbina risks himself to expose the perpetrators and help the victims Urbina is an investigative reporter for the New York Times His journalistic style keeps you turning pages The movie rights have been purchased by Leonardo DiCaprio Netflix and Kevin Misher My notes followUrbina focuses on the crews of fishing vessels Many companies that operate these vessels make their money by not paying their workers and fishing illegally One in five fish served is caught illegally rapidly depleting the oceans as overfishing goes on unchecked The lives of the men and boys manning these fishing vessels approach slavery When paid they are paid little and bound over with contracts that put them in debt entrapping them If they don’t complete their typical two or three year stints they end up owing money They work twenty hour shifts under abysmal conditions The ships are poorly maintained dirty and vermin infested with cramped sleeping spaces Injuries and infections are common the work extremely dangerous Discipline is severe including withholding food and beatings The workers stay at sea for months and have to stay on board when the ship goes to port Urbina includes stories of ships sinking due to inexperienced or drunk captains and the unsafe conditions of the ships The nebulous nature of the law on the oceans and lack of enforcement allow ship owners and operators to do what they wantManning agencies recruit poor workers from countries like the Philippines The agencies make false promises to lure naïve people They are traffickers They collect upfront fees and then have these men and boys sign documents that they can’t understand committing them to jobs often far different than the ones promised and at much less pay They incur large fines if they leave their multi year stint early Once at sea the manning agency takes no responsibility for the men yet when the ship’s owners are contacted about the men they say the crewmen are the manning agency’s responsibility A major reason for the arrangement between the agencies and the ship owners and operators is to be able to deny responsibility Operators and owners are often separate adding further ambiguity For the unfortunate men at sea the law is the captain’s and abuse is the normBased on Urbina’s investigation of Thai fishing fleets sometimes there is no pretense and it is straightforward slavery Recalcitrant crew members are beaten even murdered They may be chained to the deck to prevent escape Before the ship goes to port they may be deposited on some remote atoll under guard until the ship returns They are under guard not because they will be able to escape but because the captain of another ship will steal them Captains sell their crewman to other captains in need of deckhands Captains pay traffickers for the crewmen and they believe they own them Urbina interviewed crewman who escaped with the help of charity agencies He talked to Burmese Cambodian and Malay men who had believed the false promises of traffickers The traffickers got them illegally into Thailand where they didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language Their passports or identity cards were taken Then they were confined under guard and taken to ships as needed Many of them had been told they would get construction or other land jobs and never suspected they would end up at seaThe crewmen of fishing vessels also are caught in the constant battle between nations fighting over fishing rights Urbina gives us a vivid account in the South China Sea The Indonesians regularly were capturing Vietnamese fishing boats and crews in waters they claimed as theirs The Vietnamese claimed the same waters Urbina was on an armed Indonesian ship as it took over several Vietnamese vessels and captured their crews Then a much larger Vietnamese Coast Guard ship showed up leading to a standoff with each ship pointing its guns at the other Urbina’s ship hightailed it taking along several Vietnamese fishing crews Such crews could be stuck in detention centers in Indonesia for months even years if no one will pay for their passage back home No one takes responsibility for themUrbina details another violent story one where he ran into the “maritime merry go round” or what happens on the ocean stays on the ocean A video was found showing men on fishing ships shooting and killing unarmed men in the ocean clutching onto debris Due to the oceanic code of silence Urbina was unable to break the story but another investigator did Apparently it was to resolve a dispute about who was going to fish that area The murderers were on a fishing ship that rammed and sunk the victims’ smaller vessel According to later interviews with some of the crew this was not the first time the captain had done this His crew called him “Captain Hoodlum” Urbina also explores the oceans uniue legal status in other ways Just as fishing ship captains get away with abuse they couldn’t on land so do others Crews on merchant vessels don’t fare much better They often are abandoned when a ship is no longer useful or the owning company has gone under Left on an abandoned ship offshore from a port they can’t legally enter they are stuck until hopefully someone rescues them There is an organization with the sole mission of finding and helping these people Another legal issue Urbina explores is the problem of stowaways Once discovered the ship is stuck with them The stowaways are not allowed to enter the destination country They must be deported which the ship owner has to pay for Ships have been known to put stowaways on rafts and set them adrift to avoid the trouble and expense Urbina interviews the lucky survivor of one such incident Urbina goes to Somalia and finds himself in extreme danger caught between competing corrupt interests He went in to report on Somalian security services patrolling for illegal fishing What he found was a total surprise Local government officials sold fishing licenses and pocketed the money The Thai owner of seven ships was paying 650000 for a three month license The national government said this was illegal only it could issue the licenses Different factions in the local government also claimed the right Everyone wanted a piece of the action creating a chaotic situation in a heavily armed failed state The issuing officials hired security services to protect the Thai owner’s ships and keep the captive crews in place They feared that Urbina was there to uncover their illicit deal Urbina traveled with fifteen to twenty five heavily armed guards But could he trust even them Could he trust anybody Before long he realizes that almost everyone is lying to him and he gets warnings to leave at once Urbina’s account of his escape is riveting After he left Urbina pressed every authority he knew to help free the crews Some were allowed to get off but most were not The Thai authorities turned out to be very responsive even though the owners had their ships reflagged in Djibouti The Thai government is trying to repair its image Unfortunately the other countries that were involved didn’t careUrbina reports on the repo men Tens of thousands of ships are stolen every year and many become part of a phantom fleet serving the least regulated ports Ports are often run by criminals or corrupt officials They freuently fake reasons a ship cannot leave until they are paid a bribe Ships often end up in disputes between the owner the bank that holds the mortgage and the company that charters and operates the ship The shipper receiver and most importantly the crew are caught in the middle The crew may not get paid if who’s in charge is disputed Urbina interviews at length one repo man and goes with him as he prepares to take over a ship The repo man uses every trick in the book to get on board and take control Freuently the crew is supportive He takes the ship to a port where his employer often a bank can get a legal judgement in its favorUrbina includes other stories He accompanies Rebecca Gomperts who provides abortions on her yacht outside the twelve mile limit for woman in countries where abortion is illegal He visits Sealand which claims to be a sovereign country set on an abandoned WWII antiaircraft platform off the coast of Britain The idea was to host broadcasting online gambling and other ventures evading all laws It didn’t work out as panned but it was still an interesting story Urbina discusses the problem of ocean dumping of oil and waste from ships with a focus on the cruise industry The law rarely intervenes in crime on cruise ships He looks into the problem of abandoned ocean structures such as aging oil rigs He ends reporting on a vigilante outfit Sea Shepard as it tries to impede a Japanese whaling shipThere’s a lot to take in One is left with the understanding that the ocean is a lawless place Laws are vague and not enforced Money and power are what count Urbina holds that making and enforcing laws against exploitation of maritime workers would do than stop a human tragedy It would establish the rule of law on the ocean a precedent that could then be applied to environmental degradation and overfishing which is rapidly destroying the ocean As Urbina was told by a fishing boat worker when he asked him which ocean his ship had just come from there is only one ocean Buraiden Gai you turning pages The movie rights have been purchased by Leonardo DiCaprio Netflix and Kevin Misher My notes followUrbina focuses on the crews of fishing vessels Many companies that operate these vessels make their money by not paying their workers and fishing illegally One in five fish served is caught illegally rapidly depleting the oceans as overfishing goes on unchecked The lives of the men and boys manning these fishing vessels approach slavery When paid they are paid little and bound over with contracts that put them in debt entrapping them If they don’t complete their typical two or three Boojums All the Way Through year stints they end up owing money They work twenty hour shifts under abysmal conditions The ships are poorly maintained dirty and vermin infested with cramped sleeping spaces Injuries and infections are common the work extremely dangerous Discipline is severe including withholding food and beatings The workers stay at sea for months and have to stay on board when the ship goes to port Urbina includes stories of ships sinking due to inexperienced or drunk captains and the unsafe conditions of the ships The nebulous nature of the law on the oceans and lack of enforcement allow ship owners and operators to do what they wantManning agencies recruit poor workers from countries like the Philippines The agencies make false promises to lure naïve people They are traffickers They collect upfront fees and then have these men and boys sign documents that they can’t understand committing them to jobs often far different than the ones promised and at much less pay They incur large fines if they leave their multi Dark Around the Edges (Cambion year stint early Once at sea the manning agency takes no responsibility for the men The Strength In Our Scars (English Edition) yet when the ship’s owners are contacted about the men they say the crewmen are the manning agency’s responsibility A major reason for the arrangement between the agencies and the ship owners and operators is to be able to deny responsibility Operators and owners are often separate adding further ambiguity For the unfortunate men at sea the law is the captain’s and abuse is the normBased on Urbina’s investigation of Thai fishing fleets sometimes there is no pretense and it is straightforward slavery Recalcitrant crew members are beaten even murdered They may be chained to the deck to prevent escape Before the ship goes to port they may be deposited on some remote atoll under guard until the ship returns They are under guard not because they will be able to escape but because the captain of another ship will steal them Captains sell their crewman to other captains in need of deckhands Captains pay traffickers for the crewmen and they believe they own them Urbina interviewed crewman who escaped with the help of charity agencies He talked to Burmese Cambodian and Malay men who had believed the false promises of traffickers The traffickers got them illegally into Thailand where they didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language Their passports or identity cards were taken Then they were confined under guard and taken to ships as needed Many of them had been told they would get construction or other land jobs and never suspected they would end up at seaThe crewmen of fishing vessels also are caught in the constant battle between nations fighting over fishing rights Urbina gives us a vivid account in the South China Sea The Indonesians regularly were capturing Vietnamese fishing boats and crews in waters they claimed as theirs The Vietnamese claimed the same waters Urbina was on an armed Indonesian ship as it took over several Vietnamese vessels and captured their crews Then a much larger Vietnamese Coast Guard ship showed up leading to a standoff with each ship pointing its guns at the other Urbina’s ship hightailed it taking along several Vietnamese fishing crews Such crews could be stuck in detention centers in Indonesia for months even Apprenez l'art de la glace et des sorbets years if no one will pay for their passage back home No one takes responsibility for themUrbina details another violent story one where he ran into the “maritime merry go round” or what happens on the ocean stays on the ocean A video was found showing men on fishing ships shooting and killing unarmed men in the ocean clutching onto debris Due to the oceanic code of silence Urbina was unable to break the story but another investigator did Apparently it was to resolve a dispute about who was going to fish that area The murderers were on a fishing ship that rammed and sunk the victims’ smaller vessel According to later interviews with some of the crew this was not the first time the captain had done this His crew called him “Captain Hoodlum” Urbina also explores the oceans uniue legal status in other ways Just as fishing ship captains get away with abuse they couldn’t on land so do others Crews on merchant vessels don’t fare much better They often are abandoned when a ship is no longer useful or the owning company has gone under Left on an abandoned ship offshore from a port they can’t legally enter they are stuck until hopefully someone rescues them There is an organization with the sole mission of finding and helping these people Another legal issue Urbina explores is the problem of stowaways Once discovered the ship is stuck with them The stowaways are not allowed to enter the destination country They must be deported which the ship owner has to pay for Ships have been known to put stowaways on rafts and set them adrift to avoid the trouble and expense Urbina interviews the lucky survivor of one such incident Urbina goes to Somalia and finds himself in extreme danger caught between competing corrupt interests He went in to report on Somalian security services patrolling for illegal fishing What he found was a total surprise Local government officials sold fishing licenses and pocketed the money The Thai owner of seven ships was paying 650000 for a three month license The national government said this was illegal only it could issue the licenses Different factions in the local government also claimed the right Everyone wanted a piece of the action creating a chaotic situation in a heavily armed failed state The issuing officials hired security services to protect the Thai owner’s ships and keep the captive crews in place They feared that Urbina was there to uncover their illicit deal Urbina traveled with fifteen to twenty five heavily armed guards But could he trust even them Could he trust anybody Before long he realizes that almost everyone is lying to him and he gets warnings to leave at once Urbina’s account of his escape is riveting After he left Urbina pressed every authority he knew to help free the crews Some were allowed to get off but most were not The Thai authorities turned out to be very responsive even though the owners had their ships reflagged in Djibouti The Thai government is trying to repair its image Unfortunately the other countries that were involved didn’t careUrbina reports on the repo men Tens of thousands of ships are stolen every Absolute Event Horizon year and many become part of a phantom fleet serving the least regulated ports Ports are often run by criminals or corrupt officials They freuently fake reasons a ship cannot leave until they are paid a bribe Ships often end up in disputes between the owner the bank that holds the mortgage and the company that charters and operates the ship The shipper receiver and most importantly the crew are caught in the middle The crew may not get paid if who’s in charge is disputed Urbina interviews at length one repo man and goes with him as he prepares to take over a ship The repo man uses every trick in the book to get on board and take control Freuently the crew is supportive He takes the ship to a port where his employer often a bank can get a legal judgement in its favorUrbina includes other stories He accompanies Rebecca Gomperts who provides abortions on her Pilots Die Faster yacht outside the twelve mile limit for woman in countries where abortion is illegal He visits Sealand which claims to be a sovereign country set on an abandoned WWII antiaircraft platform off the coast of Britain The idea was to host broadcasting online gambling and other ventures evading all laws It didn’t work out as panned but it was still an interesting story Urbina discusses the problem of ocean dumping of oil and waste from ships with a focus on the cruise industry The law rarely intervenes in crime on cruise ships He looks into the problem of abandoned ocean structures such as aging oil rigs He ends reporting on a vigilante outfit Sea Shepard as it tries to impede a Japanese whaling shipThere’s a lot to take in One is left with the understanding that the ocean is a lawless place Laws are vague and not enforced Money and power are what count Urbina holds that making and enforcing laws against exploitation of maritime workers would do than stop a human tragedy It would establish the rule of law on the ocean a precedent that could then be applied to environmental degradation and overfishing which is rapidly destroying the ocean As Urbina was told by a fishing boat worker when he asked him which ocean his ship had just come from there is only one ocean

Ian Urbina ò 5 Download

Usive poachers seabound abortion providers 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 netw. The ‘high seas’ is a dangerous place and Urbina demonstrates enormous courage and passion to report on the ships and fishing boats that inhabit them This compilation of Urbina’s reporting over a five year period is both fascinating and appalling It is a master class in investigative journalismThe demand for ocean fish to feed the world’s burgeoning population invites overexploitation by companies that mask their ownership to avoid accountability and hire ruthless captains that overwork their crews Outlaw ships fish in another country’s territorial waters with crews trapped in a form of debt slavery There are 56 million people fishing the oceans and it may only be a matter of time before the world’s dumped waste and plastics outweigh the fish that live thereAt one point Urbina teamed up with vigilante environmentalists like Sea Shepherd in an epic 110 day pursuit of a trawler illegally fishing for toothfish commonly called Chilean sea bass on restaurant menus They encountered horrific storms and an attempt by the trawler to ram them While these poachers did spend a short time in custody the officers were shortly released Indeed the lack of justice on the oceans makes this book a pessimistic one Highly recommend


10 thoughts on “The Outlaw Ocean Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

  1. says:

    An outstanding piece of investigative journalism describing a world that is mostly unseen but that covers most of our planet Our oceans and what is happening on them The author takes us to various places some uite dangerous Illegal fishing of Chilean Sea bass where he on a boat chasing a ship fishing illegally On ships where indentured crewmen from South Korea are literally starved worked than human endurance can stand and often sexually abused When jobs are scarce men often have little choice Thailand another place where crews are mistreated kidnapped and forced to work Somalia capturing ships and holding them and their crew for random The movie with Tom Hanks I an example of this though Somalian government is working to stop this and it is not as bad as it was onceOne of the most interesting is a man who actually recaptures ships being held in foreign ports Can you imagine stealing back a huge ship Unreal The bribes paid that allow some to look away at abuses taking place There is so much and the author takes us to each one The author presents section by section each episode in a interesting and well written way I found myself totally engrossed I this immersive readThe narrator Jason Full also deserves four stars He has a terrific well modulated voice


  2. says:

    We follow Ian Urbina as he travels the world to uncover the dark side of life on the ocean He tells us about the exploited men and boys from poor countries desperate for work who become captives at sea We see how shady ship owners operators and recruiters take advantage of these workers to rake in billions With this collection of individual stories Urbina shows the breadth and scale of the problem He emphasizes the human peril over legal and environmental issues but these too are addressed We also get adventure and danger as Urbina risks himself to expose the perpetrators and help the victims Urbina is an investigative reporter for the New York Times His journalistic style keeps you turning pages The movie rights have been purchased by Leonardo DiCaprio Netflix and Kevin Misher My notes followUrbina focuses on the crews of fishing vessels Many companies that operate these vessels make their money by not paying their workers and fishing illegally One in five fish served is caught illegally rapidly depleting the oceans as overfishing goes on unchecked The lives of the men and boys manning these fishing vessels approach slavery When paid they are paid little and bound over with contracts that put them in debt entrapping them If they don’t complete their typical two or three year stints they end up owing money They work twenty hour shifts under abysmal conditions The ships are poorly maintained dirty and vermin infested with cramped sleeping spaces Injuries and infections are common the work extremely dangerous Discipline is severe including withholding food and beatings The workers stay at sea for months and have to stay on board when the ship goes to port Urbina includes stories of ships sinking due to inexperienced or drunk captains and the unsafe conditions of the ships The nebulous nature of the law on the oceans and lack of enforcement allow ship owners and operators to do what they wantManning agencies recruit poor workers from countries like the Philippines The agencies make false promises to lure naïve people They are traffickers They collect upfront fees and then have these men and boys sign documents that they can’t understand committing them to jobs often far different than the ones promised and at much less pay They incur large fines if they leave their multi year stint early Once at sea the manning agency takes no responsibility for the men yet when the ship’s owners are contacted about the men they say the crewmen are the manning agency’s responsibility A major reason for the arrangement between the agencies and the ship owners and operators is to be able to deny responsibility Operators and owners are often separate adding further ambiguity For the unfortunate men at sea the law is the captain’s and abuse is the normBased on Urbina’s investigation of Thai fishing fleets sometimes there is no pretense and it is straightforward slavery Recalcitrant crew members are beaten even murdered They may be chained to the deck to prevent escape Before the ship goes to port they may be deposited on some remote atoll under guard until the ship returns They are under guard not because they will be able to escape but because the captain of another ship will steal them Captains sell their crewman to other captains in need of deckhands Captains pay traffickers for the crewmen and they believe they own them Urbina interviewed crewman who escaped with the help of charity agencies He talked to Burmese Cambodian and Malay men who had believed the false promises of traffickers The traffickers got them illegally into Thailand where they didn’t know anyone and didn’t speak the language Their passports or identity cards were taken Then they were confined under guard and taken to ships as needed Many of them had been told they would get construction or other land jobs and never suspected they would end up at seaThe crewmen of fishing vessels also are caught in the constant battle between nations fighting over fishing rights Urbina gives us a vivid account in the South China Sea The Indonesians regularly were capturing Vietnamese fishing boats and crews in waters they claimed as theirs The Vietnamese claimed the same waters Urbina was on an armed Indonesian ship as it took over several Vietnamese vessels and captured their crews Then a much larger Vietnamese Coast Guard ship showed up leading to a standoff with each ship pointing its guns at the other Urbina’s ship hightailed it taking along several Vietnamese fishing crews Such crews could be stuck in detention centers in Indonesia for months even years if no one will pay for their passage back home No one takes responsibility for themUrbina details another violent story one where he ran into the “maritime merry go round” or what happens on the ocean stays on the ocean A video was found showing men on fishing ships shooting and killing unarmed men in the ocean clutching onto debris Due to the oceanic code of silence Urbina was unable to break the story but another investigator did Apparently it was to resolve a dispute about who was going to fish that area The murderers were on a fishing ship that rammed and sunk the victims’ smaller vessel According to later interviews with some of the crew this was not the first time the captain had done this His crew called him “Captain Hoodlum” Urbina also explores the oceans uniue legal status in other ways Just as fishing ship captains get away with abuse they couldn’t on land so do others Crews on merchant vessels don’t fare much better They often are abandoned when a ship is no longer useful or the owning company has gone under Left on an abandoned ship offshore from a port they can’t legally enter they are stuck until hopefully someone rescues them There is an organization with the sole mission of finding and helping these people Another legal issue Urbina explores is the problem of stowaways Once discovered the ship is stuck with them The stowaways are not allowed to enter the destination country They must be deported which the ship owner has to pay for Ships have been known to put stowaways on rafts and set them adrift to avoid the trouble and expense Urbina interviews the lucky survivor of one such incident Urbina goes to Somalia and finds himself in extreme danger caught between competing corrupt interests He went in to report on Somalian security services patrolling for illegal fishing What he found was a total surprise Local government officials sold fishing licenses and pocketed the money The Thai owner of seven ships was paying 650000 for a three month license The national government said this was illegal only it could issue the licenses Different factions in the local government also claimed the right Everyone wanted a piece of the action creating a chaotic situation in a heavily armed failed state The issuing officials hired security services to protect the Thai owner’s ships and keep the captive crews in place They feared that Urbina was there to uncover their illicit deal Urbina traveled with fifteen to twenty five heavily armed guards But could he trust even them Could he trust anybody? Before long he realizes that almost everyone is lying to him and he gets warnings to leave at once Urbina’s account of his escape is riveting After he left Urbina pressed every authority he knew to help free the crews Some were allowed to get off but most were not The Thai authorities turned out to be very responsive even though the owners had their ships reflagged in Djibouti The Thai government is trying to repair its image Unfortunately the other countries that were involved didn’t careUrbina reports on the repo men Tens of thousands of ships are stolen every year and many become part of a phantom fleet serving the least regulated ports Ports are often run by criminals or corrupt officials They freuently fake reasons a ship cannot leave until they are paid a bribe Ships often end up in disputes between the owner the bank that holds the mortgage and the company that charters and operates the ship The shipper receiver and most importantly the crew are caught in the middle The crew may not get paid if who’s in charge is disputed Urbina interviews at length one repo man and goes with him as he prepares to take over a ship The repo man uses every trick in the book to get on board and take control Freuently the crew is supportive He takes the ship to a port where his employer often a bank can get a legal judgement in its favorUrbina includes other stories He accompanies Rebecca Gomperts who provides abortions on her yacht outside the twelve mile limit for woman in countries where abortion is illegal He visits Sealand which claims to be a sovereign country set on an abandoned WWII antiaircraft platform off the coast of Britain The idea was to host broadcasting online gambling and other ventures evading all laws It didn’t work out as panned but it was still an interesting story Urbina discusses the problem of ocean dumping of oil and waste from ships with a focus on the cruise industry The law rarely intervenes in crime on cruise ships He looks into the problem of abandoned ocean structures such as aging oil rigs He ends reporting on a vigilante outfit Sea Shepard as it tries to impede a Japanese whaling shipThere’s a lot to take in One is left with the understanding that the ocean is a lawless place Laws are vague and not enforced Money and power are what count Urbina holds that making and enforcing laws against exploitation of maritime workers would do than stop a human tragedy It would establish the rule of law on the ocean a precedent that could then be applied to environmental degradation and overfishing which is rapidly destroying the ocean As Urbina was told by a fishing boat worker when he asked him which ocean his ship had just come from there is only one ocean


  3. says:

    This is a remarkable work of journalism The author gives us a first rate account of the continual changes in the vast oceans Much of it is not pretty The oceans are unregulated and what laws there are are transgressed at will The laws are airy and many countries have “their” ocean areas overlapping with others The bigger the boat the power it can have depending on how its adversary is armedThis is a personal book where the author takes us with him on patrol boats with vigilantes like the group Sea Shepherd who cruise freuently in the Antarctic to prevent the illegal trawling of endangered species Sea Shepherd uses invasive methods like firing darts of some sort or even ramming fishing vesselsPage 185 my book Over 56 million people globally work at sea on fishing boats Another 16 million work in shipping on freighters tankers container ships and other types of merchant vesselsPage 186 87 The contract for fishing vessels also specified that there would be no overtime no sick leave eighteen to twenty hour days six day work weeks and a monthly 50 dollar food deductionThe most tragic reporting was on slave labour used in fishing boats Often young men and boys from the Philippines Indonesia Cambodia and Vietnam are lured by promising ads in their local village to serve on these fishing boats They soon enter a world of bondage where they are ill fed and can be beaten at the whim of the officers Once at sea they are trapped and can stay for years thinking initially that they would only be serving for a few months There have also been murders Thailand is now trying to come to terms with its recruitment and exploitation of foreign workers for its fishing vesselsFor fishing crews there are always deductions on their salaries – for the meager food they are given while on board the accommodations and a charge for processing their documents And their salary is often withheld for several monthsPage 192 All the recruitment firms for fishermen shared a playbook They used debt trickery fear violence shame and family ties to recruit entrap and leave men at sea sometimes for years under harsh conditionsPage 305 Samson the leader of the Indonesian patrol boat allowed me five minutes to explore each boat that had been seized “in Indonesian waters” with the crew held on the Indonesian boat and I found myself drawn to the Vietnamese deckhands’ sleeping uarters I wanted to see what they brought with them The men slept in a room toward the back of the boats open to the rear with walls on the other three sides The ceiling was low enough that the space reuired even short men to crawl on all fours There was no privacy and no way to secure belongings which tended to be crammed into torn plastic grocery bags eight ounce cans of Red Bull packs of Vietnamese cigarettes an occasional prayer book muscle ointments There were no great epiphanies to be had in rifling through their stuff except for a humbling recognition of how few possessions they brought with them for months at seaPage 113 Before my investigator translator left the Oyang 75 South Korean fishing vessel with an Indonesian crew one of the workers on board a twenty eight year old Indonesian man named Purwanto pulled him aside Purwanto seemed genuinely puzzled why anyone would take an interest in the conditions of his work whether he was satisfied and paid “No one has ever asked about us before” said Purwanto who had been working on the ship for a year “Why do you want know about life on the ship?” he asked The investigator and union inspector responded that they were simply checking for labor violations Purwanto said that even if there were violations it didn’t matter – he needed the job so he would not say anything There was nothing else for him back in Indonesia he said “This is the best we can get”There is also a discussion on stowaways some of whom are simply tossed overboard but there is nothing on the migration of Syrians and Africans across the MediterraneanThere was one interesting and for me positive story which reveals my point of view on the subject of the boat Adelaide that was providing medical abortions for women off the coast of Mexico It would land in a port and with the women on board sail off into international waters where the procedure was performed outside of the laws of MexicoThe author also describes the corruption in the merchant maritime where boats and I mean large ones can be repossessed for any number of what I found to be dubious reasons In some cases if the crew is owed back pay they will not get it from the new ownerThere are many different topics covered The author spent time with a Greenpeace crew that eventually succeeded in preventing oil exploration off the coast of Brazil as there are coral reefs that would inevitably have been impacted I don’t know the status of this now with Bolsonaro in power in BrazilAnother rather uirky one is on the Englishman Roy Bates who in 1966 seized an abandoned World War II tower in international waters off the coast of England He made it his own independent country called Sealand and eventually passed it onto his sons to manage It strikes me as a looney libertarian set upWhen you live on land and possibly just spend a few weeks on or by the ocean whether on a cruise or a charming resort – or simply fly over it at 30000 feet the massiveness can overwhelm us It is deceiving because we come to think of it as beyond being polluted altered depleted and contaminated – but yet it is – and rapidly so This book illustrates how this is happening far from our eyes Its ecology is being transformed with the advent of modern technology I learnt much from this book There is a tremendous number of articles cited and people credited that make us realize that this work of journalism was a collaborative effort


  4. says:

    This was a fascinating and harrowing account of the dark seedy underbelly of the oceanic crime world Each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of the Outlaw Ocean We are bombarded with gristly accounts of sea slavery traffickers pirates and so much I appreciated how the author balances this with stories of hope fortitude and the human spirit It was informative well written and I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the atrocities that take place in the open seas


  5. says:

    The ‘high seas’ is a dangerous place and Urbina demonstrates enormous courage and passion to report on the ships and fishing boats that inhabit them This compilation of Urbina’s reporting over a five year period is both fascinating and appalling It is a master class in investigative journalismThe demand for ocean fish to feed the world’s burgeoning population invites overexploitation by companies that mask their ownership to avoid accountability and hire ruthless captains that overwork their crews Outlaw ships fish in another country’s territorial waters with crews trapped in a form of debt slavery There are 56 million people fishing the oceans and it may only be a matter of time before the world’s dumped waste and plastics outweigh the fish that live thereAt one point Urbina teamed up with vigilante environmentalists like Sea Shepherd in an epic 110 day pursuit of a trawler illegally fishing for toothfish commonly called Chilean sea bass on restaurant menus They encountered horrific storms and an attempt by the trawler to ram them While these poachers did spend a short time in custody the officers were shortly released Indeed the lack of justice on the oceans makes this book a pessimistic one Highly recommend


  6. says:

    It's than 3 stars to be fair but not for me I can't round it up 35 stars for the content And 5 stars for Ian Urbina's bravery and guile But to be honest this was one of the top 10 most gut wrenching tomes I've ever read And that's saying somethingSo many truly perverted gross and just plain obscene situations are going on within the lawless seas that I find myself just not able to take the last 70 pages without an anti nausea medication And it isn't structured well as a book at all It has points that were slogs to get through and logistics asides of such length that continuity tangent was basically IMHO lost Too many diverse ploys to not organize this better Either by world locales or subject matter or some other less wide overreach Human trafficking slides into all aspects on top of itEverything down near Antarctica is we can do it before you catch us And they seldom get caught The Thunder chase seems a prime example And if they do they still go free to do it again Or at least the perpetrators themselves have no conseuence near to the acts that they have committed Multiple multiple murders only being the human loss side of it And the pirates slavery sex used abused and shackled traded like foodstuffs while down to 100 lbs and then thrown overboard Especially from Thailand Cambodia Indonesia South China Seas area And the various crew tales alone for various cheat practices I'll never take a cruise ship again NeverI knew about Somalia but they actually seem like the chump change crew And to say that this is a function of Capitalism? Nope anarchy and chaos Most of the double faced corrupt countries seating the home harbors are not so Some are far far into the take as much as the ships captains crews for the worst acts Not only against conservatism either Read this one if you truly want a oversized chunk of reality that is a gross parcel to swallow And I can't believe the infections and filth that Ian subdued himself to on dozens of occasions for weeks and weeks UGH Beyond horrid human treatments worse than in the Middle Ages being pulled apart by 4 horses almost seems kind for comparisons as habits in former 1400 AD Europe or Asia He also is taking a lot of whole cloth belief and covering himself with it while swallowing all of his own highly slanted to theory eyes Definitely a NY Times think personna My strong opinion is that the people who work for policing illegal too what they do stalking the nasty fishing and whaling meanies despicable ALL is WAY too mild a word for them also hold this uest and whole belief system just exactly like a religion or a cult of any other age They remind me of the early martyrs but within an entirely different direction of faith The fanaticism is EXTREMELY similar and that's why they put their lives at risk And they sure doThis is a far far harder read than I thought it would be I'll never eat Chilean Sea Bass again Or be able to listen to anyone's Thailand vacation tale Kantang That has got to be one of the worst places I've ever read about in the modern age since about 1975 Maybe worst than what used to be called the Belgian Congo as it exists today NO respect for life let alone suffering


  7. says:

    35 stars As one of the 77 billion people crammed onto just 29 percent of the earth’s surface I love and I fear the ocean in eual measures When I was younger warning signs about the fatal strength of the undertow at the nearest beach were common Now these signs are supplemented by those indicating tsunami escape routes I believe that investigative reporter and author Ian Urbina after spending four years actively researching his stories would understand and share my feelings about the ocean For all its breathtaking beauty the ocean is also a dystopian place home to dark inhumanities Once I finished The Outlaw Ocean I couldn’t help but be reminded of those ancient maps illustrating the world as flat and with the warning “that there be monsters there” at the edge of the world The reality is that a mere 12 miles away from the nearest shore the “monster” out there is not the fearsome kraken but man While we have for centuries embraced and touted the life that springs from these waters we have tended to ignore its role as a refuge of depravity But the outlaw ocean is real as it has been for centuries and until we reckon with that fact we can forget about ever taming or protecting this frontier Whatever rule of law we think exists is in reality subjugated by the law of “might makes right” because of the lack of witnesses and the difficulty in bringing violators to justice Urbina unveiled stories that have been known for years among mariners but that are startling in their common criminality to us who are earth bound Each of the 15 chapters could be read as a standalone for they are extended versions of articles published by his employer The New York Times Some stories illustrate the loophole fact that once 12 miles from shore one is exempt from the nearest country’s jurisdiction “Adelaide’s Voyage” was about Women on Waves and their mission to provide abortions in the international waters just beyond the reach of countries which have made abortions illegal In “Jail without Bars” the US effectively created a “black site” by keeping prisoners captive on vessels on a slow journey back to the US for trial with due processStories depict the illusion of dividing the vast ocean into areas with boundary fences The most surreal account is in “Sealand” in which an English eccentric commandeered an abandoned military installation and claimed it as his own country “Fluid Borders” illustrated this with the confrontation between Indonesian and Vietnamese boats with guns aimed and hostages taken because of their respective interpretations of their countries’ bordersOnly a few stories were about environmental concerns Although humans have named the bodies of water closest to them to create the illusion that there are boundaries this doesn’t alter the fact that the ocean is one What happens in one area will invariably be apparent in a much greater area because of ocean currents In “Waste Away” many companies including the Carnival Corporation break international laws and illegally dump their waste into open waters rather than increase their expenses via proper disposal once at port The “Next Frontier” revealed that so much is still not known about our planet Brazil was willing to wait to learn about its coral reef a very atypical coral reef located in freshwater and postponed issuing permits to drill for oilThe most disturbing stories though were about men as monsters Urbina estimated that the black market for seafood was about 20 billion roughly 20 percent of the entire global market in 2016 As demand for seafood has grown a vicious cycle has been created Fishing boats fill their hulls regardless of whether they’re depleting the fish stocks before they can be replenished which means they travel further into the seas to look for their uarry Never mind whether they’re even allowed to fish in certain waters as in “Lone Patrol” or “Fluid Borders” As fuel costs rise to as much as 60 percent of total expenses fishing boats aim to lower costs by exploiting their crew Slavery still exists in our world It’s enabled by middlemen who “Shanghai” their crew via debt bondage Once onboard the hapless crew are totally subject to the captains who trade their crew like property with other captains and ensure their captivity by withholding their passports threatening their families and remaining at sea for months or years at a time This awful tale culminated with the murderers of at least four men eluding justice in the “Somali 7” chapterUrbina covered a lot of issues as I haven’t mentioned the controversial topic of whale hunting until now “Hunting Hunters” is the last of his stories as the Sea Shepherd had sailed into Antarctic waters hoping to thwart the Japanese whaling fleet’s “research” Urbina ends the book with a small section of suggestions to counter the lawlessness of our last frontier For consumers a useful resource has been developed by the Monterey Bay Auarium wwwseafoodwatchorg The NPR also published this article this review I obviously learned a great deal but I had to work for it There were many times that I felt that I had to wade sluggishly through the material I could only handle this book at a slow pace of 2 chapters at a time Urbina would open each chapter with a figurative hook then digress in the middle with background information and details from his travel journal and finally Urbina would reel himself back to the opening topic to conclude the chapter Although he is an investigative journalist he inserted himself into the stories so that it was repetitive at times I would have preferred a harder hitting journalistic detachment and then a separate chapter appendix section with anecdotes about his research I believe that at least five percent of the book could have been edited out I had read this as a buddy read with several others and some complained of the book’s organization and the overlap amongst the chapters I agree that it appeared that way It wasn’t until I finished that I realized that he arrayed the stories in increasing danger and or excitement which could partially explain why I had such a slow start with this book The stories at the latter half were far gripping


  8. says:

    This book is wild If you want to know what capitalism unleashed from all regulation or social shame see the economy of the ocean Urbina reveals exploitation and corruption and how easy it seems to be to evade all laws out there Fascinating


  9. says:

    In brief Fascinating horrifying compelling and dark 455In fullIan Urbina is a journalist This book contains a series of his reports about the Oceans and the law or rather lack of it He has spent several years investigating these topics and compiling this wide ranging book The oceans are dangerous places and Ian himself has faced dangers while making these reports Freuently there is no real authority fin these remote places and eually no one to police them even if any authority was clear While the oceans are dangerous much of the danger here comes from those who work on it Freuently they exploit both it and fellow humansI enjoyed so much of this book It would be tempting to go through it chapter by chapter However that would simply spoil the book for other readers For this review I will simply mention two or three of the chapters that I found particularly interestingThe book starts and ends with stories about the environmental action group Sea Shepherd In the first one two Sea Shepherd boats are chasing a wanted fishing boat starting in the Antarctic and then going where the fishing boat runs too Frankly it read uite like a thriller and was an excellent start The second looks at their activities in 2016 trying to stop the Japanese whaling fleet despite there being an injunction against them again an excellent story However in these stories and the others in the book the author uses the context of the story to look at the global issues as well as the specifics He also generally manages to maintain a fairly even stance too although that is simply not possible in some cases Few aspects of this are simply black or white Ian draws this out very well in my opinionAn intriguing story in this book is about Women on Waves The organisation has a small boat They land in largely Catholic countries collect women who want an abortion and sail until they are outside the 12 mile limit This means that they are in international waters and so assisting women in having a medical abortion is not illegal The boat has an Austrian flag and so that also allows activity that would potentially be illegal otherwise This report allows the author to continue exploring the nature of flags of vessels including flags of convenience and the nature of maritime laws a constant theme here Broadening this out means the author considers the effect this behaviour providing abortions may have on the countries concerned by stimulating dialogueI find it so hard to simply find one interesting story in this collection There are so many things covered by this book that I think I'll just make a few points of interest • There are a number of stories about the sheer cruelty with which crew are treated There are bizarre approaches to legality of what is done commercially and what is allowed by countries or turned a blind eye to • The good guys can be very hard to identify sometimes If we still continue to kill whales what should we do about whales who have learnt to strip long line catches as fishermen reel them in the costs are significant • What are the economics of stowaways the costs to vessels can be high and that can lead to some troubling practices How about the transporting of people arrested by boat rather than by plane what might happen during extended sea voyages that could not happen any other way • There is time with the repo men who try and get ships back for people who are owed money fascinatingWhile maybe than I intended to say when I started this review these points are simply a window into a fascinating book There was not a single chapter that did not hold my attentionIt also felt like time travel as I witnessed things piracy whaling slavery privateers that I had previously assumed were safely locked in the past In many ways this uote sums up this book for meThis book should certainly make us think It would be all too easy to say that this is not our problem However it is our actions that lead to the abuse of both oceans and the people who work or are forced to work on them One of the points that the author makes very vividly is the fact that we cannot expect to buy cheap tins of responsibly sourced tuna fish without someone paying a high price If the idea of this book interests you do read it it is worthwhileNote I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttpsviewsonorguknon fictionth


  10. says:

    A collection of news articles about overfishing and other activities engaged on the oceans of the world focusing mostly on Oceania Urbina finds himself wanting to pursue information while being bound by the realities of maritime restrictions He must gather as much information as possible avoid becoming too much a part of the story and make himself both familiar and unoffensive as possible on an ocean There is is not opportunity to say Oh I see I have overstepped my bounds here and now it is time for me to head back to the office Urbina sometimes too often for his and his family's comfort finds himself in situations were vermin including bacteria weapons and angry people could have killed himAfter reading this book I have become uncomfortable with my and the cat's enjoyment of seafood Great Work and Committment


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