In Memory of Rob Stewart, December 28, 1979 – January 31, 2017.
Filmmaker, Shark Activist and Hero. Lush remembers our long-time friend and collaborator.
On January 31, 2017, we lost Rob Stewart in a dive accident while filming “Sharkwater Extinction”. Rob was a filmmaker, advocate for oceans and sharks, and hero. Today on the third anniversary of his passing, we remember our cherished friend and are proud to have supported Rob’s work and mission over the years.
His films, “Sharkwater”, “Revolution” and “Sharkwater Extinction” reached millions of people and changed our planet for the better. “Sharkwater” brought the issue of shark finning to the world stage. “Revolution” was the first film to bring awareness to the devastating effects of ocean acidification. While filming “Sharkwater Extinction”, Rob found we are still killing up to 150 million sharks annually for shark fin soup and other products containing shark for human consumption.
Rob Stewart dreamed of seeing a #finfree world. He had thousands of followers and supporters who admired his perseverance and dedication to shark conservation. He has been credited for saving one third of the world’s sharks since the release of his 2006 award-winning film “Sharkwater”. He grew the movement to #SharkFree while filming “Sharkwater Extinction”, when he realized sharks were being used in consumer products; cosmetics and personal care products, including lip balm, moisturizers, sunscreens, fertilizer, fish and livestock feed and even in our pet foods.
In 2018, Rob’s close friends and family completed his final film “Sharkwater Extinction”, which he was filming on that day in 2017. Since the film’s premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, it has won over 46 awards around the world.
In the past three years we have seen incredible progress in the fight to save sharks across the globe:
• In September 2018, Stewart found one of the biggest destructors in Los Angeles. The team went to Santa Monica Bay where they discovered mile-long drift nets, a hugely destructive way of fishing. The goal is to catch swordfish but dolphins, whales, turtles and sharks, among other sea life, were also getting caught in the nets. Finally, Stewart’s footage helped the California legislature successfully ban drift nets.
• In 2019, Canada banned the shark fin trade, the first G20 country to ban the import and export of shark fins. More than 85 countries have banned shark finning and 17 US states have banned the sale of fins. The U.S Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act was passed through the House in November and will now pass on to the Senate. Please support this bill by signing the petition.
• Numerous awards have been created in his honor at many universities, colleges and film festivals, including the creation of the “Rob Stewart Eco Warrior Award” at the Vancouver Film Festival and the “Rob Stewart Conservation Film Award”at the Fort Lauderdale Intl Film Festival.
• In 2019, the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation was formed to continue his mission. The foundation will focus on working with governments to enact shark fin trade bans. They are currently working with cosmetics associations and regulators around the world to bring awareness to the issue of shark liver oil in cosmetics with a campaign for vegan alternatives. All funds donated will go towards raising awareness through education and entertainment.
However, to this day an estimated 150 million sharks are still killed annually. The fight to save the world’s sharks and oceans is crucial to supporting a sustainable earth for future generations.
”Sharkwater Extinction” demonstrated how shark ingredients have been introduced into our everyday household cosmetics, pet food and fertilizers. With that in mind, Team Sharkwater is doing what it can to keep sharks off the shelves and out of our cosmetics.
As a business that cares deeply about people, animals and the planet, it is no surprise that we continue to be greatly inspired by Rob’s work. Together we built a close, collaborative partnership that continues today through our support of the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation. We’re committed to working towards his vision of healthy oceans for a healthy planet, and we thank you all for your past, current and future support.
If Rob’s work inspires you and you want to make a contribution to saving the environment and sharks, please consider making a donation the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation.