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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Invisible Infrastructure. Maritime Motorways and the Making of Global Mobilities Seminar

16 May 2018
Shackleton Building 44, Lecture Theatre B

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Dr Nathaniel Lewis at .

Event details

On the evening of Monday, 11th January 1971 a serious collision occurred in the Dover Strait, six miles offshore from Folkestone. The motor vessel Texaco Caribbean, registered in Panama, struck the merchant vessel Paracas, flagged to Peru. The ships were travelling in opposite directions but were sharing the same channel. Following this incident, momentum gained for a scheme to manage shipping traffic in this maritime bottleneck. This paper traces the historical development of a Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS)—or maritime motorways—first developed in the Dover channel. With approximately 95% of global trade carried by ship, recent work in geography has considered water worlds, sea-based mobilities and the fluid spaces of maritime transit. Yet such studies have focused largely on the stubbornly material technologies of ships, and the material cargo that is moved. These examinations omit to recognise the invisible infrastructures that aid navigation and route cargo vessels (Easterling 2014). This paper traces the contested transnational formulation of these surface routing schemes which govern ocean territory in maritime gateways. In doing so, the paper reveals the forgotten state and extra-state led processes of channelling at sea that underscore the global logistics flows vital to society and the economy.

Speaker information

Dr Kim Peters, University of Liverpool. Geography and Planning

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