High Seas

Dispatches from the Outlaw Ocean: Episode 10 'Freedom or death' out now

Written by Oceanographic Staff

The high seas are a lawless frontier where crimes such as murder, slavery and environmental destruction are often met with impunity and overlooked by the media. But the ocean is also a place of discovery and reinvention, offering freedom from the constraints of society.

A 10-part short film series produced by The Outlaw Ocean Project stems from over a decade of reporting by our columnist Ian Urbina exploring crime on the high seas. The series chronicles a gritty cast of characters including traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, shackled slaves and vigilante conservationists.

Over the past few weeks, we have exclusively shared all episodes of ‘Dispatches from the Outlaw Ocean’ as they have come out. The last episode of the series, ‘Freedom or death’, deals with an almost daily battle that occurs in international waters between the African and European coasts.

In this episode, Ian Urbina explains how the EU is trying to stem the flow of migrants by creating a shadow immigration system that captures migrants before they reach the high seas and sends them back to Libyan detention centers run by militia. This film, shot aboard a Médecins Sans Frontières ship, reports on the desperate race between humanitarian NGOs and the Libyan Coast Guard to reach the overflowing migrant ships in the Mediterranean. Whoever wins, determines the fate of the passengers within.

SENSITIVE CONTENT WARNING: The following video contains graphic or violent scenes which some people may find offensive or disturbing.

Watch episode 10 here or on The Outlaw Ocean’s website:


Written by Oceanographic Staff

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