NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A riveting, adrenaline-fueled tour of a vast, lawless, and rampantly criminal world that few have ever seen: the high seas.
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 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 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 URBINA is the director of the Outlaw Ocean Project and an investigative reporter who writes regularly for The New York Times, The Atlantic, National Geographic and other venues. He has won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News, a George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting, and the Chris Dickey Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences. Several of his stories have been developed into major feature films and one was nominated for an Emmy Award. He has degrees in history and cultural anthropology from Georgetown University and the University of Chicago. Before being on staff at the Times for nearly two decades, he wrote about the Middle East and Africa for various outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Magazine. He lives in Washington D.C., with his family.