With the recent passing of Canadian filmmaker and ocean conservationist Rob Stewart, Logan and I have been going back and forth as to how to pay our respects to such an influential man who’s done so much for the conservation of sharks and our oceans as a whole. Logan first introduced me to Rob Stewart through the movie Sharkwater, which he had recommended I watch within our first weeks of meeting. Needless to say the movie opened my eyes to the horrible truth and made me that much more passionate about saving our oceans.
Rob worked diligently to save sharks, whose numbers have been decimated by illegal shark finning, and to save the environment, as seen in his second award-winning film, Revolution. He’s inspired millions, including myself and Logan, to become even bigger advocates for conservation and do everything we can to protect our planet.
I had Logan take the reins today and craft a beautiful guest piece about Rob’s legacy. We both hope to be able to do half of what this incredible human being has done for our oceans.
A Canadian photographer, filmographer, and conservationist, Rob spent his life exploring and protecting our oceans. He sadly lost his life while scuba diving in the Florida Keys where he was gathering footage for his upcoming documentary Sharkwater: Extinction.
For those of you have not yet seen Sharkwater, I urge you to take the time to watch it. It is a documentary he produced in 2006 to expose the illegal practices we use to catch and slaughter sharks. It was one of the most eye-opening films that I have ever seen. The raw footage he used, in particular that of the shark finning industry, makes you cringe in horror but forces you to see what we are doing to one of the most refined species this planet has ever seen. Along with the gruesome imagery of dead or dying sharks, there is an incredible amount of footage that shows how beautiful they are in their natural habitat. Without the pressures we place on them Rob captures their beauty and elegance in such a way that you completely forget about the exaggerated Hollywood portrayals.
Sharkwater and Rob’s other film, Revolution, remind us that we are pushing our world to its breaking point…FAST. We had a man who dedicated his life to exposing the exploitation of our Earths natural resources by individuals and corporations who are simply seeking monetary gain. A man who was doing his part to show the beauty of the ocean and what it could offer. A man trying to bring out the playful and magnificent side of sharks and how we are crippling them as a species. We had a man trying to save the world. . . or at least what’s left of it.
We HAD a man doing HIS PART, isn’t it time for us to step-up do ours.
I would like to conclude this article by sending my dearest condolences to Rob’s friends and family. I know he will be missed dearly by them, as well as the ocean and sharks which he worked so hard to protect. I would like to thank him for all of his work up until this point and will do my best to help carry on his efforts in ocean and shark conservation. I also encourage all of those reading this to take time and watch his documentaries and, if possible, to donate to help fund the completion of his latest documentary: Sharkwater: Extinction.
Thank you Rob, you will be missed.