“You are told your whole life since you are a kid that sharks are dangerous. You are warned about venturing too far into the ocean. But then, finally you are underwater and you see the thing you have been taught your whole life to fear and it is perfect and it doesn’t want to hurt you and it is the most beautiful thing you have every seen. And your whole world changes.”
Filmmaker, cameraman and shark advocate Rob Stewart tragically lost his life in a diving accident off Florida in late January.
His film “Sharkwater,” released in 2007, was responsible for creating a global awareness of the plight of sharks and kickstarted a movement that campaigned to overturn the public’s negative perceptions of sharks. The film received 40 international awards, but perhaps more crucially, provided a rallying point for those seeking to conserve and protect the oceans and they apex predators. It shone a light into the murky world of the shark fin industry and exposed it as wasteful and inhumane. His 2012 film, “Revolution” examined global environmental collapse, as “Sharkwater” had revealed the harsh truth that saving sharks has little purpose if the ecosystem in which they live is destroyed. It received 19 awards. At the time of his death, he was working on completing “Sharkwater: Extinction,” a sequel to “Sharkwater” focusing on the estimated 80 million sharks killed per year that are completely unaccounted for by scientists.
This feature attempts to honor Rob’s memory with shark imagery submitted by many photographers from around the world. What unites us all is a common concern for sharks’ plight, and a desire to continue Rob’s lifelong quest to show them to the world as sentient and intelligent animals that do not represent any real form of threat to humans. We hope that this message is borne out by our imagery.
Part 2 of A Wall of Sharks as a Tribute to Rob Stewart can be found here.