The Outlaw Ocean

The high seas are beyond the reach of international law – and beyond the beat of most reporters. But Pulitzer-Prize-winner and former New York Times journalist, Ian Urbina, has sailed into uncharted territories. Urbina sets out on a years-long quest to investigate murder at sea, modern slave labour, environmental crimes and quixotic adventurers. Part travelog, part true-crime thriller, this 7-part series takes listeners to places where the laws of the land no longer exist. The Outlaw Ocean is brought to you by CBC Podcasts and the LA Times and produced by The Outlaw Ocean Project.

Episode 6: The Magic Pipe

October 31, 2022



When a ship inadvertently spills oil, it’s big news. But every three years, ships intentionally dump more oil than the Exxon Valdez, and BP spills combined. This episode highlights a vexing and woefully under-discussed problem. It is made possible by corrupt ship captains who use a so-called “Magic Pipe” that dumps oil discreetly under the water line rather than disposing of it on land as legally required.

To learn about this problem, the episode tells the story of Carnival’s Caribbean Princess cruise ship, which used such a pipe and was caught, convicted and hit with the biggest fine in history. This case is set in a broader context of other forms of at-sea dumping, such as plastic pollution, and highlights how the sea has long — and perilously — been viewed as a bottomless trash can.

Guest Interviews

Annie Leonard, CEO of Greenpeace, creator of “The Story of Plastic”

Richard Udell, DOJ Prosecutor on the Caribbean Princess Case


No transcript available