This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Ian Urbina, a longtime investigative reporter for the New York Times whose latest book The Outlaw Ocean reveals many of the hidden costs of the seafood and shipping industries. After listening to Urbina discuss his book that took five years to research and led him around the globe through some of the deadliest waters on earth, it’ll make you realize that the reason something is impossibly cheap is because far too often it involves impossible human suffering.
Human slavery. Many of us think of it as a terrible chapter of US history that ended in the 19th century. But, according to the United Nations, slavery is a modern reality for roughly 27 to 30 million human beings living, right now. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Associated Press reporter, Robin McDowell, who, along with three colleagues, recently won a Pulitzer Prize, for her team’s exposé of slavery practices in the Southeast Asian seafood industry. Not only did this investigation receive the highest honor in journalism, it alerted consumers of how we are contributing to the practice by eating slave-produced seafood, and, most importantly, it precipitated the rescue of 2,000 slaves who are now living free after years and even decades of bondage. McDowell breaks down the details of how she and her colleagues uncovered the story, some of the horrors they encountered along the way, and how it sparked action to dismantle similar operations in the region. (n.b. Ms. McDowell misspoke when she called the Rohingya a persecuted minority from Indonesia. They are from Myanmar).