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Dispatches from The Outlaw Ocean Episode 4: The Magic Pipe

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Published May 10, 2023 10:03 PM by Ian Urbina

This episode is the fourth installment in a 10-part short film series from The Outlaw Ocean Project. It stems from more than a decade of reporting by 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.

Accidental oil spills make big news. But every three years ships intentionally dump more oil than the Exxon Valdez and BP spills combined. 

This episode investigates how some luxury cruise ships routinely use Magic Pipes to get rid of toxic waste below the water line, and how they rarely get caught. We also take a broader look at the history of dumping at sea, the curse of plastic pollution and the sobering ecological consequences of environmental crimes that have only recently come into scientific focus. 

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.