High Seas

Dispatches from the Outlaw Ocean: Episode 7 'Chasing ghosts' 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 new 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 next few weeks, we will exclusively share all episodes of ‘Dispatches from the Outlaw Ocean’ as they come out.

Episode 7 – ‘Chasing ghosts – came out out on Monday, 29th May. In this episode, in partnership with Global Fishing Watch, and with the help of revolutionary satellite tracking technology, Ian Urbina investigates what links the mysterious case of the North Korean ghost boats to a plummeting squid population in the East Japanese Sea, and exposes the largest case of illegal fishing in maritime history, perpetrated by the Chinese ‘Dark Fleet’.

It is estimated that over 100 dead bodies wash up on Japan’s shores each year. Almost all of them are North Korean fishermen.

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

Watch Episode 7 here or on The Outlaw Ocean’s website:



For more from our Ocean Newsroom, click here



current issue

Back Issues

Enjoy so much more from Oceanographic Magazine by becoming a subscriber.
A range of subscription options are available.