adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $35.00

Buy for $35.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

"A riveting, terrifying, thrilling story of a netherworld that few people know about, and fewer will ever see.... The soul of this book is as wild as the ocean itself." (Susan Casey, best-selling author of The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean)

An 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.

©2019 Ian Urbina (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Outlaw Ocean is an outstanding example of investigative journalism, illuminating some of the darkest corners of a world we often don't think about...what he found ranges from horrible to shocking and from unfair to unbelievable...a magnificent read...proof that outstanding writing is still one of the best tools we have to get to know the world we live in.” (Gabino Iglesias, NPR)

"These chapters are vibrant as individual stories, but as a collection they’re transcendent, rendering a complex portrait of an unseen and disturbing world. Urbina pursues a depth of reportage that’s rare because of the guts and diligence it requires... The result is not just a fascinating read, but a truly important document... It is a master class in journalism.” (Blair Braverman, The New York Times Book Review)

"Not just a stunning read, this book is a gripping chronicle of the watery wild west and it shows us - frankly unlike anything I've read before - how global indifference can trap innocent people in endless cycles of exploitation, how the vast ocean has become a danger zone, and ultimately how we all pay a price for this mayhem and mistreatment." (John Kerry, former Secretary of State and founder of the Our Ocean Conference)

What listeners say about The Outlaw Ocean

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    260
  • 4 Stars
    80
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    209
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    222
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Subject interesting, but some facts not true

Being a long distance sailor and marine biologist, I started out totally engrossed by the interesting subject matter. But I started to lose faith in the reporting when several completely wrong "facts" were presented. It made me question the validity of all other facts.

First the author describes the hauling in of Antarctic Cod (Dissotichus mawsoni) and describing their eyes bulging out of their sockets from the release of pressure. This is incorrect, they do not have a swim bladder and their eyes do not bulge out. I have hauled in mawsoni from over 1000' and they are alive, in great shape, and can even be kept in an aquarium for research.

Second he describes how it would be deadly to fall over the side in Antarctica because the water is -80F. Impossible and rediculous - sea water can only go as low as 28F, after which it freezes.

Thirdly - later on in the book when describing the dutch abortion ship, which he says is a 36' long sailboat with a 29hp diesel engine. He said it was cruising at 10 knots, which is impossible unless it was surfing down a wave, which is not "cruising". A sailboat cannot exceed it's hull speed which is 1.34 X the square root of the length of the waterline (about 32' for a 36' sailboat). For a 36' sailboat that would equate to about 7.6 kts in flat calm seas with no headwind and a motor powerful enough to reach hull speed (unlikely with a 29hp). Since he describes 8' waves pounding the bow, it is unlikely that they could even make 5 kts, let alone 10kts.

None of these facts are huge, but when there are mistakes like this I have to take the entire book with a grain of salt, wondering how much other exaggeration there was.

Having said all that - this is well worth a read - but don't rely on every fact being correct.

62 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

The story is very interesting and thought provoking but as an audiobook I could never get through it. The reader is montone and dry. I am disappointed that I do see an option to return this book after only listening to one chapter.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Real Eye-Opener & Necessary Read

Ian Urbina taks the reader on a rollercoaster ride, with mind-blowing accounts of life and business at sea, just beyond the reach of the just, or at least where the good guy's hands are tied behind their backs. An amazing depiction of courageous people facing the most abusive & dishonest companies & governments on the planet.
This is a must-read.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Individual short stories

I almost claimed plagiarism throughout the first half of the 4th-chapter, thinking I had read a book written about the same exact story. Did some digging, only to discover I had previously read Ian Urbina's prose unknowingly in The Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/12/ship-of-horrors-deep-sea-fishing-oyang-70-new-zealand

I enjoyed the format of several short stories (essays, as the author claims) built around a singular theme in the Outlaw Ocean. Well-done.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended!

Both the writing and narration are excellent. I can honestly say that the author conducted some truly intrepid and impressive reporting for this book. The human right abuses that he chronicles in this book are both shocking and underreported. A quite engaging listen. Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read.

Now I am frightened of the open seas, lol. This was a very well written, captivating collection of stories that will change the way you see the sea, and its many dangers.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well worth your time

Great reporting of the fouling of our most precious resource, the ocean.
It is not just pollution, but greed,graft,slavery,torture,thievery, and all around abuse of human and animal rights. This reporter put himself in the crosshairs, experiencing filthy conditions and harrowing storms and corrupt captains and officials, all while recording this amazing if somewhat disorganized tale. The epilogue is helpful and informative.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating book and the fastest I’ve ever gone through an audible

A really awesome read. A wonderful attention to detail told in just the right way. It was hard for me to stop sometimes because the book was so interesting. Not only was the story well-crafted but I truly hope that the compelling evidence so articulately portrayed will lead to more of us supporting the Mariners and wildlife.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great read

Could not put it down. Hard to match with fiction as far as being interesting. Also flows very well for non fiction. Again mostly due to abundance of good material.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent work.

This was a very fair and honest assessment of the problems with un policed international waters. A great book!