Environmental Knowledge and Resistance by Slave Transporters in the Nineteenth-Century Western Indian Ocean
This chapter examines the resistance by slave traffickers to the British naval campaign against the slave trade in the nineteenth-century western Indian Ocean, with a particular focus on the environment. The fact that the British slave trade suppression campaign used and exploited marine environments—for example, by using treaties to separate one zone where the trade was patrolled by the British Navy from others—has been paid little attention. However, the traffickers also fully utilized their knowledge of marine environments as well as their navigation skills, which had been developed over a long history. Both parties were interactive, and the western Indian Ocean was, in this sense, an arena of such interaction over environment.