We honour Rob Stewart this past weekend: the shark activist, biologist, author and filmmaker behind Sharkwater, Revolt, and Extinction of Sharkwater on the anniversary of his untimely death.
“Since Sharkwater released, more than 100 countries have banned shark finning and 41 countries have banned shark finning, fishing or the shark fin trade entirely, I think the world affects everybody. It’s just how much, how high, and in what way. And the more people become educated, the more they change the world in a positive direction. 7 Billion people have a massive amount of power to change the world.”Rob Stewart
Shark highlights for 2020
In Hong Kong, 26 tonnes of shark fins were seized. Six tonnes of shark fins were confiscated by U.S. law enforcement and a decade long shark smuggling ring was shut down. The largest fine for shark fin smuggling was imposed by Hawaii: $126,000 in fines, $119,000 forfeiture of the vessel and $58,000 seizure of fins.
Marine Protected Areas have risen by more than 23 million square kilometres since Sharkwater and Rob’s death. Shark fins have been banned by hotels, airlines and shipping companies. The soup was banned also by China and Hong Kong at state functions.
But, there’s more work to do; every year, 150 million sharks still die from finning. Shark numbers have now declined by over 90 percent and before they become extinct, these majestic creatures need our support. The acidification of the oceans by climate change is our greatest challenge
As Rob said, “Don’t feel disillusioned! The challenge is calling the best in us”.
Through the organization he founded, Rob’s work continues throughout the world; United Conservationists with their movements in Fin Free and Shark Free and the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation.