Sharkwater is a beautifully filmed movie. The underwater footage is stunning and, rightly so, it has won numerous awards including Canada's Top Ten at the Toronto International Film Festival and The People's Choice Award at the Atlantic International Film Festival.
Rob's love of the ocean and his passion for sharks really come across in this movie. The tragedy of it is the subject matter. The very fact that this film had to be made tells us a lot about the state of our global society.
The film is available to watch on Vimeo but we have embedded it here for your convenience. If you do watch it through our site, if you can, please consider making a donation to Rob's Fin Free campaign (fin-free.com) to help him get the message out to more people.
Rob Stewart hails from Toronto in Canada. He fell in love with the ocean at an early age and has been taking underwater photographs since he was just 13 years old.
He became a certified scuba instructor trainer at the age of 18 and went on to study biology, He also studied underwater photography and worked for the Canadian Wildlife federation's magazines.
It was while he was photographing sharks in the Galapagos Islands that he saw illegal long line fishing taking place in the marine reserve. He tried campaigning to raise awareness of this but he got no response from the general public.
It was then that he decided to give up the still photography in the home that filming sharks would bring them closer to sharks.
About the film
The film starts out as a stunning underwater movie but soon turns into something more like an epic thriller. The film takes us aboard ship with Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd crew as they go into battle against illegal fishermen off the coast of Costa Rica.
Fully expecting the support of the Costa Rican authorities they try to escort the boat into port but things take a dramatic turn when they're told a Cost Rican gun boat is heading out to arrest them, and not the illegal fishermen.
Held under house arrest on the ship, they decide to investigate why the the country's government would invite Sea Shepherd to help them enforce the law against illegal fishing in their waters and then arrest them.
What they discovered was truly shocking. Knowing the extent of the corruption, and facing charges of attempted murder they decide to make a run for international waters. They are chased by a gun boat but they make it into international waters and then head for the Galapagos Islands.
Here they discover even more illegal activities and, while Rob finds himself in hospital fighting to save his leg from flesh eating disease, Sea Shepherd are kicked out of the country.
Rob eventually gets out of hospital and decides to sneak back into Costa Rica where what he finds gives us some small hope for the future.