Nature Canada

Sharkwater Extinction – A Beautiful and Heartbreaking Tribute

On October 3rd 2018, I attended the Special Advance Screening of Sharkwater Extinction – an action-packed journey following late filmmaker Rob Stewart across four continents in his attempt to investigate the illegal shark fin industry that is leading to the global extinction of sharks.

This movie is a beautiful tribute to Rob Stewart and his tireless efforts to conserve sharks. The imagery engaged is stunningly gorgeous – it draws you into the mysterious aquatic world and evokes compassion for the world’s oldest creatures. The film is heart-wrenching as it tells the story of violence inflicted upon sharks daily.

Sharkwater Extinction highlights the fact that over 100 million sharks are killed each year. This mass-slaughter has resulted in a 90% decline in shark populations over the last 30 years. Sharks are illegally killed for their fins to be used in shark-fin soup. Many sharks are also caught accidentally as by-catch in fishing operations – a heartbreaking truth demonstrated by footage of sharks caught in fishing nets off the coast of Los Angeles. Alarmingly, it seems sharks are also being caught purposely to be relabeled as “ocean whitefish,” sold at supermarkets and used in products such as cat food and cosmetics.

Rob’s first movie, Sharkwater, exposed the issue of shark finning for shark fin soup and resulted in changes to laws and public policy in over 90 countries worldwide. Although the finning of sharks is banned in Canadian waters, the import of sharks is not banned. Lawmakers are currently working to change this and increase protections for sharks in Canadian law.

Nature lovers, conservationists and movie lovers alike will enjoy the beautiful and heartbreaking film. Sharkwater Extinction will be in Canadian theatres on October 19!

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