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15
May

Sharkwater film by Rob Stewart proof Sea Shepherd Captain innocent

Written by United Conservationists on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 17:11.

TORONTO – Filmmaker Rob Stewart joins the global call to free Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd, after German officials decided to extradite him to Costa Rica. Stewart has now released video evidence from his documentary Sharkwater to prove Watson’s innocence.

Captain Paul Watson was arrested in Germany, May 12, 2012 for an international warrant for his arrest. The arrest is based on allegations of violating “ships traffic” in Guatemalan waters, after a clash in 2002 between fishermen on the ship Varadero who were illegally poaching sharks and the Sea Shepherd crew intercepting. The incident resulted in the fishermen accusing Captain Watson of attempted murder.

The event took place during the filming of Rob Stewart’s award-winning documentary Sharkwater, released in 2007. Sharkwater is credited with legislation banning the ownership and sale of shark fins in California, Hawaii, Oregon, Guam, Saipan and many other regions. Stewart says his film disproves the accusations; a released clip of the incident is made available here (credit Sharkwater).

“It was an accidental collision,” said Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart, who witnessed the altercation. “There was no attempt to harm any human life. However, the arrest of Paul Watson shows that there is a bigger problem afoot, that after ten years sharks continue to be unprotected.”

Shark finning is an often illegal-practice, whereby sharks are killed for their fins, the key ingredient in shark fin soup, a popular dish in the Asian market. In just a few decades, some shark populations have declined by over 95 per cent, and their populations continue to plummet.

“This is a great injustice, as sharks play a vital role to the health of our marine ecosystems,” said Stewart. “That is why I founded United Conservationists, a collaborative global response to sustain the ecosystems we depend on. If the sharks and humans are to survive the challenges ahead, we must build a global movement,” said Stewart.

Stewart is currently editing his new movie, Revolution, which features the issue of shark finning as well as many other critical environmental issues.

Media Clips: To view Sharkwater on iTunes: http://vimeo.com/42171668

Canadian Link

U.S. link

German link

Photo Gallery: http://www.sharkwater.com/gallery.htm

Media Clips: Vimeo*

*Credit “Sharkwater”

Photo Gallery: Sharkwater.com

27
Mar

Newmarket Goes Fin Free

Written by United Conservationists on Tuesday, 27 March 2012 22:26.

With a landslide vote of 8 -1 the Town Council of Newmarket voiced to Canada and the world that they cared about our future and wanted a world with sharks in it.  Another 80,000 residents of Ontario were added to the rapidly growing number of people who now live in a shark fin free world, when this past Monday the by-law in Newmarket was voted into effect.

The councilors agreed with the hard work of the team from United Conservationists and Fin Free Newmarket that sharks need our protection, and have overwhelmingly stated that this was their way to help, putting pressure on the federal government to legislate a Canada wide ban.  Councillor John Taylor said that it was only through municipalities such as Newmarket making statements like this, that the message would be carried through to the federal level.

Sarah Samwel, local Newmarket resident and lead campaigner for Fin Free Newmarket was delighted with the result and said she was immensely happy and thrilled with the turnout of people who came to support Fin Free and sharks at the meeting and thanked United Conservationists everywhere for their support.  Many councilors indicated that it was through constant emails/calls as well as viewing the movie, Sharkwater, that they realized how important this vote was to the plummeting population of sharks everywhere.

This important by-law will make it illegal for shark fin and shark fin products, most often used in shark fin soup,  to be possessed and sold anywhere in the town of Newmarket,  joining the other leading municipalities of Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, and London who have all shown their support on the issue and recently banned shark fin. 

Fin Free is now a worldwide campaign addressing the issue of the mass slaughter of sharks to supply growing consumer demand for shark fin.  We believe that in order to protect sharks and ensure their survival, governments must get involved and institute legislation banning the sale and trade of shark fin.

The topic of shark fining is quickly heating up and being debated around the world. The award winning film Sharkwater, by United Conservationists Rob Stewart, has been the catalyst for the international Fin Free movement and is helping to create environmental reform in over 30 countries. “With up to 73,000,000 sharks killed each year for their fins, a collaborative global response is desperately needed,” said Stewart.  In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet.

With local municipalities sending the message out to the world that we will not sit idly by and watch sharks die,  pressure to change peoples way of thinking is increasingly working and ourselves and future generations will see the benefits.  Well done Newmarket, for having the courage and compassion to care about the future,  you did a great thing!

Newmarket Goes Fin Free from United Conservationists on Vimeo. With a landslide vote of 8 -1 the Town Council of Newmarket voiced to Canada and the world that they cared about our future and wanted a world with sharks in it. Another 80,000 residents of Ontario were added to the rapidly growing number of people who now live in a shark fin free world, when, on March 26th, the by-law in Newmarket was voted into effect. Thank you to United Conservationists and Fin Free Newmarket - a job well done! Read all about it! http://www.unitedconservationists.org/united-conservationists-news/166-newmarket-finfree.html

Newmarket Goes Fin Free from United Conservationists on Vimeo. With a landslide vote of 8 -1 the Town Council of Newmarket voiced to Canada and the world that they cared about our future and wanted a world with sharks in it. Another 80,000 residents of Ontario were added to the rapidly growing number of people who now live in a shark fin free world, when, on March 26th, the by-law in Newmarket was voted into effect. Thank you to United Conservationists and Fin Free Newmarket - a job well done! Read all about it! http://www.unitedconservationists.org/united-conservationists-news/166-newmarket-finfree.html

13
Mar

Richard Branson goes Fin Free

Written by United Conservationists on Tuesday, 13 March 2012 19:19.

United Conservationists are pleased to have the support of Sir Richard Branson in their fight against shark finning and undertaking to get bans in place to stop the sale and possession of shark fins in Canada.

On Tuesday, March 6th, Richard Branson tweeted that he was heading to Canada to help get a blanket ban on the killing of sharks for shark fin soup. A long-time shark advocate, Branson has gotten on board the “Fin Free” campaign, spearheaded by award-winning filmmaker and eco-hero, Rob Stewart founder of United Conservationists.

It was Stewart’s highly acclaimed, award-winning documentary, Sharkwater, that ignited Branson’s passion to save sharks, and on January 15th Branson said “The films I really enjoy are films with a meaning or purpose like Sharkwater, which explores the misunderstood world of sharks, and while beautify and thrilling, also exposes corruption and exploitation surrounding the world’s shark populations. It was such a powerful film that now I’m trying to stop shark finning around the globe.” Indeed Sharkwater has educated millions of people about the plight of sharks and inspired a global movement to save them.

Richard Branson swims with Sharks to Support FIN FREE!

Richard Branson stated his support for the campaign and said "All of my businesses are Fin Free - and I support the movement to make the world fin free. With shark populations plummeting, banning the sale, trade and consumption of fins in communities around the world is one of the best ways to help stop the demand for fins and in turn, protect the world's remaining sharks. I encourage other leaders and businesses to take similar actions towards saving sharks - an animal critical to the health of our oceans."

The Fin Free movement, supported by other conservation groups such as WildAid and Shark Truth, has resulted in recent landmark legislation in Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, and London banning the sale and possession of shark fin, with over 10% of Canadian residents now living in municipalities in which shark fin is now illegal. It is hoped that proposed legislation will soon make Canada the largest country in the world to ban the import of shark fins, decreasing demand and giving shark populations a much needed chance to recover. The fin free movement has been gaining momentum and has gone global with Fin Free Singapore, Taipei, New York, and Australia forming, and the help and backing of businesses and leaders like Richard Branson will ensure it continues to grow and make further impact.

28
Feb

SHARKS SWIM INTO PARLIAMENT HILL

Written by United Conservationists on Tuesday, 28 February 2012 23:04.

The topic of shark finning is heating up around the world – including Ottawa. Thanks to recent landmark legislation in Toronto, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, and London banning the sale and possession of shark fin, over 10% of Canadian residents live in municipalities in which shark fin is now illegal. And supporters are hoping Canada will soon become the largest country in the world to ban the import of shark fins in an attempt to address plummeting shark populations worldwide. On Wednesday, February 29th, M.P.s and senators have a unique opportunity to get educated on the issues facing sharks. To grow Canadian support for sharks across all parties, conservative M.P. Terence Young is hosting a private screening of the award-winning documentary, Sharkwater, near Parliament Hill. Toronto native, director and star of the film, Rob Stewart, will introduce the film and also host a discussion immediately following. The highly acclaimed Sharkwater  has educated millions of people about the plight of sharks and inspired a global movement to save them.

 

Filmed in visually stunning high definition video, Sharkwater captures Stewart’s riveting journey throughout 15 countries and exposes his shocking discoveries in the world of shark finning. The film’s popularity has been the catalyst for the international Fin Free movement and has helped create environmental reform in over 30 countries.

 

 “With up to 73,000,000 sharks killed each year for their fins, a collaborative global response is desperately needed,” said Stewart.  “Banning ivory  protected elephants when they were most vulnerable. By banning the import of shark fins to Canada, we will give sharks a much needed chance to recover.”

 

In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet. Stewart, and his organization, United Conservationists who launched the Fin Free campaign, believe focusing on reducing demand for shark fin through bans is the quickest and most effective way to save sharks – who play a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy - from extinction. Stewart and his team will be available prior to the film for questions from the press as well: 395 Wellington (library and Archives Canada), 7:00 pm

 

 

Media inquiries:                                                            

 

United Conservationists

Christine Barisheff, TypeA Consulting,Inc.                             Julie Andersen

Christine [at] typeaconsult [dot] com                                      julie [at] unitedconservationists [dot] org

416.500.7111                                                                        917.689.5927

08
Dec

Canada makes Giant Strides Towards Protecting Sharks Worldwide

Written by United Conservationists on Thursday, 08 December 2011 16:36.

Today in the House of Commons, MP Fin Donnelly, NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic, announced the introduction of Bill C380 which would ban the import of shark fin into Canada. This landmark legislation will make Canada the largest country in the world to ban the import of shark fins and aims to inspire other countries to follow suit to address plummeting shark populations worldwide.

“It's time for the federal government to listen to their municipal counterparts and take action,” said Donnelly. “They can demonstrate real leadership on this global issue and institute an import ban of shark fins to Canada.”

Donnelly recently launched a federal petition to support the bill in Vancouver with Rob Stewart, whose film, Sharkwater, has educated millions of people about the plight of sharks. “With up to 73,000,000 sharks killed each year for their fins, a collaborative global response is desperately needed,” said Stewart.  “Banning ivory  protected elephants when they were most vulnerable. By banning the import of shark fins to Canada, we will give sharks a much needed chance to recover.”

This year, Brantford, Mississauga, Oakville, Pickering, London and Toronto, Ontario have all banned the sale and possession of shark fin in their municipalities. The federal import bill will help prevent international trade of shark fin, where illegally sourced fins are abundant and difficult to detect.>/p>

“With Toronto's recent ban, over 4 million people in Canada are already Fin Free, and we believe this movement will continue to spread not only through Canada, but the rest of the world,” says Julie Andersen, Executive Director of United Conservationists and founder of Shark Angels. Having spent the last four years in the field documenting the unsustainable, often illegal and inhumane practice of shark finning, Andersen agrees with Stewart and Donnelly that bans on shark fin are desperately needed to make a quick impact on decimated shark populations that play a critical role in keeping our oceans healthy.

In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet. Focusing on reducing demand for shark fin through bans is the quickest and most effective way to save sharks from extinction.

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