"Oceans of Crime" premieres Saturday, February 17 at 8pm ET/PT on CNBC.
CNBC takes viewers inside a fascinating and disturbing crime story, set in one of the most lawless places on earth: our oceans, where perpetrators traffic in an illegal product, and front-line workers are modern day slaves. It's part of a multi-billion dollar outlaw industry funded by the global appetite for salmon, tuna, and other seafood, though few are aware of the human and environmental wreckage left by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. It's estimated that 90 percent of American seafood is imported, and roughly a quarter of the fish caught at sea is captured illegally -- with no regard for the law, national sovereignty, or the future of the species themselves. The epidemic now threatens the livelihoods of fishing communities around the globe and, ultimately, the world's food supply. In this deeply reported documentary, CNBC investigates the global fishing industry, and exposes the little-known and sometimes shocking means by which seafood arrives at our grocery stores and on our dinner plates.
Viewers will see how our seafood supply moves from the waters off of Southeast Asia to American shores. Along the way, they'll follow an eco-activist and ship captain who's chasing rogue Chinese fishing vessels in the South Indian Ocean; a satellite sleuth in landlocked West Virginia who culls signal data to help patrol the world's seas; an American aid worker struggling to help former fish boat slaves in Thailand; and conscientious retailers and restaurant owners trying to make sense of a shadowy supply chain. This is a gripping story about a crisis that affects us all, involving the food we eat.