Journalist Ian Urbina discusses “The Outlaw Ocean” with piracy experts
On Monday, February 20, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ian Urbina visited ISS to discuss his recent and ongoing series in The New York Times, The Outlaw Ocean. Urbina discussed the challenges of embedding in remote and dangerous maritime environments, the modern-day slavery in the Thai fishing fleet, and how crimes at sea often go unpunished. Following his presentation, Professor Guy Chet of the University of North Texas connected these stories to the long history of lawlessness at sea, with a particular focus on the persistence of piracy in the eighteenth century. Commander BJ Armstrong of the US Naval Academy sought lessons from the US Navy’s first counter-piracy campaign in the 1820s and its most recent campaign off Somalia, and finally Captain Shannon Kopplin of the US Naval Justice School described the legal structures that the international community has attempted to enforce to deal with these issues.