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Sharkwater poster.jpg
Promotional poster for Sharkwater
Directed by Rob Stewart
Produced by Rob Stewart
Narrated by Rob Stewart
Paul Watson
Music by Moby
Nina Simone
Ali Farka Toure
The Riderless
Geoffrey Oryema
Aphex Twin
Distributed by Freestyle Releasing
Release dates
  • September 11, 2006 (2006-09-11) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • March 23, 2007 (2007-03-23) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

Sharkwater is a 2006 Canadian documentary film written and directed by Rob Stewart. Credited as igniting the movement to protect sharks, changing government policy, and inspiring the creation of shark conservation groups, Sharkwater is considered one of conservation's great success stories, resulting in shark finning being banned worldwide. In the film, Stewart seeks to deflate current attitudes about sharks, and exposes how the voracious shark-hunting industry is driving them to extinction. His next film, Revolution, builds on Sharkwater.

Filmed in high definition video, Sharkwater explores the densest shark populations in the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption of the shark-hunting industry in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

Stewart travels with Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship as they confront shark poachers in Guatemala and Costa Rica. Among the group's experiences are boat chases with poachers and police, boat ramming, hidden camera footage of massive shark finning facilities, corrupt court systems and eventually attempted murder charges which force Stewart and Watson to flee from the police. Stewart explores how the increasing demand for shark-fin soup in Asia is fuelling an illegal trade in sharks. His expedition is cut short, however, when he is diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis (from which he recovers).

Stewart discovers that sharks have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the Earth's history of mass extinctions, as well as being a predator that prevents the overconsumption of plankton by other fish, moderating global warming, they could easily be wiped out within a few years.

The film has 40 major awards.[1]


Sharkwater has received 40 international awards.

  • Canada's Top Ten : Toronto International Film Festival
  • People's Choice : Atlantic International Film Festival
  • People's Choice : Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival
  • Best Documentary : Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival
  • Spirit of Independents Award : Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival
  • Special Jury Award : Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Best Musical Composition : France World Festival of Underwater Pictures
  • Prix Planete Thalassa : France World Festival of Underwater Pictures
  • Best of the Festival Palm Springs : International Film Festival
  • Best International Doc  : Beverly Hills Hi-Def Festival
  • Best HD Feature : AFI Dallas International Film Festival
  • Audience Choice Award for Best Feature : Gen Art Film Festival
  • Grand Jury Award for Best Feature : Gen Art Film Festival
  • Peter Benchley Shark Conservation Award : Shark Research Institute
  • Special Jury Award : 15 Short Film Festival – Charlotte, NC
  • Must-See Award (Category: Wake-Up Films) : Telluride Mountain Film Festival
  • Hero of Conservation – Water Category : Conservation for the Oceans Foundation
  • Top Ten Films : Cambridge Film Festival
  • Jameson Audience Award : for Best International Documentary Encounters South African Int’l Doc. Festival
  • Best Documentary : Film - Nominee Critics Choice Awards
  • Animal Action Award : International Fund for Animal Welfare
  • Best Documentary : Directors Guild of Canada
  • Best Of The Festival : Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival
  • Best Sound : Nominee Golden Reel Awards
  • Best Documentary : Nominee Genie Awards
  • Best Environmental : Film of 2008 National Ocean Film Festival Alliance
  • Best Feature Documentary : Genesis Awards
  • Audience Award : Durban Int'l Film Festival, S.A.
  • Activism through Adventure : Adventure Film Festival 2008 Boulder, CO
  • Theatrical Award - Nominated Wildscreen 2008 : Panda Award
  • Youth Documentary Award : Bergen International Film Festival


External links[edit]