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Issue 521 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

September-October 2019

Who owns the sea?

The romance of the freedom of the seas is so potent that a question like ‘Who owns the sea?’ might seem absurd. But as this edition’s Big Story shows, it is of profound relevance in times of accelerated resource grabbing, militarization of the seas, plastics pollution and climate destruction. And so is the follow-on question: ‘How can we save the sea?’


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Included in this issue

Sankara's platform centred on anti-imperialism

Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso

We look at the life of Thomas Sankara, a Burkinabè revolutionary and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987.

Letter from Dhaka

Parsa Sanjana Sajid the deep waters of identity and prejudice in Bangladesh.

Who owns the sea?

Vanessa Baird examines the free-for-all consensus when it comes to the world’s oceans, and its implications for our future.

Should I delete my Facebook account?

Agony Uncle weighs in on whether to finally do away with social media.

The interview: Shahidul Alam

Bangladeshi photojournalist Shahidul Alam tells Subi Shah that, despite his notorious arrest last year, he’s still not holding...

What if...the world turned vegan?

Vanessa Baird dreams on. Or maybe not?

‘Call yourself English?’

Blake Morrison grew up in Yorkshire – and made his escape from his traditional conservative background via literature. But...

Deep-sea dilemma

Sea-bed mining promises many riches, but at great risk. Should we pause for thought? asks marine biologist Diva Amon.

High seas, low deeds

Slavery, murder, abandonment. Where human rights do not reach.

Marine gene rush

The race is on to patent all marine life – and some have got a head start. Marine scientist Robert Blasiak explains to Vanessa...

How to fight illegal fishing

Can fishers, coastguards and marine activists see off the thieves from powerful nations plundering the seas of West Africa?...

Who is militarizing the South China Sea?

Mark J Valencia makes sense of the cauldron for conflict between China and its neighbours.

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