News & Events

06
Jun

Sharkwater Extinction Takes Over Cannes Film Festival

Written by United Conservationists on Thursday, 06 June 2019 19:09.

Filmmaker Rob Stewart was celebrated and honored with two awards, and a new award was announced in his name during the Cannes Film Festival.

The revolutionary documentary, Sharkwater Extinction, was also screened on May 16, 2019 as the official premiere of Positive Cinema Week.

Rob Stewart was then honored with two awards on different days. He received “Ocean Conservationist Hero Award” at The Monaco Better World Forum Gala on May 18, and the “’Best Conservation’ Feature Length Documentary” from the Artisan Festival International (AFI) World Peace Initiative on May 22. A new award in Rob’s name was announced at the closing ceremony for positive cinema week for ‘Best Documentary’ and was presented by Rob’s parents, Sandy and Brian Stewart.

Since Sharkwater Extinction’s debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018, the film has gone on to win 28 awards, and continues to win more across the world.

To continue in Rob’s footsteps, a new website will be launching June 8, 2019 on World Ocean’s day for the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation, where millions of his followers can continue the conservation work he started.

06
Jun

Sharkwater Extinction Debuts at Toronto International Film Festival

Written by United Conservationists on Thursday, 06 June 2019 19:06.

Now Available on Amazon Prime and Crave TV!

Sharkwater Extinction saw its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, debuting to a standing ovation. 

The inspiring documentary follows his journey to expose the massive illegal shark fin industry and the political corruption behind it, which is leading to the decimation of sharks in our oceans. It also unveils the fact that endangered sharks are being added to many of our everyday products, even those intended for human consumption.

Rob Stewart was in the midst of completing his third and final film, when he tragically passed while diving off the Florida Keys in January of 2017. Friends and family of Rob made it their mission to complete the film and honor his legacy.

The film has gone on to win 28 awards, in 40 festivals and continues to win more across the globe.

Be sure to check out the inspiring documentary, which is jam-packed with action and adventure, as it follows Rob Stewart’s eye-opening fight to save sharks. It’s now available on DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes, and other streaming platforms, including Crave TV in Canada and Amazon Prime in the United States, Germany, Japan and more. It’s coming soon (July 21, 2019) to Amazon Prime in Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. ~Emily Chavez

10
May

Rob Stewart's New Movie Coming this Fall

Written by United Conservationists on Thursday, 10 May 2018 20:28.

We’re thrilled to announce that Rob’s latest movie is nearly finished and will be launching shortly.

Ahead of its release, the production team has launched an exclusive teaser and you get to see it first. Watch a sneak peek.

The teaser features a song written for Rob and performed by award winning singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, a truly moving tribute titled "Child of the Water."

As you know, Rob dedicated his life to saving sharks. His new movie furthers this critical mission, exposing the issues facing sharks – and the world’s populations that rely upon these predators and healthy oceans for our very survival.

Like and share to get involved in the mission and stay tuned to our news feed to receive early information about the upcoming release, campaigns and launch events.

02
Dec

Outrage over Ontario Superior Court Judge’s decision to overturn Toronto’s ban on the sale and possession of shark fin

Written by United Conservationists on Sunday, 02 December 2012 03:31.

CONTACT:

Julie Andersen: +1-917- 689 - 5927, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Toronto, Canada, December 1st, 2012 – Fin Free urges the Toronto City Council to immediately appeal Justice James Spence’s ruling against Toronto’s ban on the possession, sale, and consumption of shark fin.

On October 25, 2011, the Toronto City Council voted overwhelmingly in support of the bylaw (38-4), following suit with several other municipalities across Ontario and several states in the US. Since then, the Fin Free movement has spread internationally as well as Canada-wide, where similar bans have been adopted or proposed throughout British Columbia and Alberta.

The passage of Toronto’s shark-fin bylaw satisfies two key sections of the City of Toronto Act; including section 8(2)(5) respecting, “[e]conomic, social and environmental well-being of the City”, and section 8(2)(6) respecting, “[h]ealth, safety and well-being of persons”. Despite this,
FARGA - an organization developed to fight shark fin bans  - alongside four members of the Chinese business community, funded and organized an appeal to strike down Toronto’s bylaw, heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on November 5th. Subsequently, Justice James Spence declared Toronto’s ban as invalid based on the City’s perceived lack of power as it pertains to the enforcement of such a bylaw. The four individuals challenging the ban claimed that the bylaw unfairly targets the Chinese Community, which often notes incorrectly that the shark fins are obtained legally and do not come from endangered shark species.

According to Rob Stewart, director of the award winning Sharkwater and co-leader of Fin Free, “We are extremely disappointed in Justice Spence’s ruling, and urge the City of Toronto to initiate an immediate appeals process against his shortsighted decision. I believe that municipalities have both the jurisdiction and the responsibility towards its’ residents to enact and enforce such by-laws given the implications of shark finning and the consumption of shark fin.”

Consuming shark fin is dangerous due to the high levels of mercury present in sharks. As large predators, sharks can have concentrations of mercury that are 10,000 times higher than their surrounding waters. A dangerous neurotoxin to humans, risks associated with mercury consumption are plentiful are include; damage to the developing brain of the fetus resulting in mental disabilities; interference with a child’s brain development; increased incidence of autism in children exposed to mercury; increased risk of heart disease; low sperm count and even sterility in men; numerous neurological problems, and others.

As apex predators, sharks are also critically important to ocean health and maintaining its’ fragile balance. Recent studies indicate that regional elimination of sharks can cause disastrous effects further down the food chain including the collapse of fisheries and the death of coral reefs. The rampant demand for shark fin is the leading cause of the dramatic decline in shark populations globally, many of which are caught illegally. In 2006, Dr. Shelley Clarke’s analysis of shark fin markets in Hong Kong estimated that upwards of 73 million sharks are being killed each year for the largely unregulated shark fin trade. Currently, one third of all pelagic sharks are threatened with extinction, and half of the shark species targeted by commercial fisheries are threatened. Even though the City of Toronto is geographically distant from ocean waters, the demand for shark fin soup in the City exacerbates the often illegal trade. Studies indicate up to half of those sharks are caught illegally.

Fin Free operates on a positive and balanced set of guiding principles, and encourages collaboration and citizen empowerment. We work internationally without prejudice towards race, color, nationality, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or gender. Fin Free promotes the message that shark finning cannot be blamed on a single community, culture or country, but rather that it is a global issue we are all equally responsible for; either via demand, supply, or consumption. We believe communities everywhere can and should work together to affect positive change. By banning the sale and possession of shark fin products in our cities, we are ensuring that we don’t support the shark trade – much of which is illegal and fueled by the high demand for shark fins only.

“It is our hope the City of Toronto will appeal Justice James Spence’s ruling immediately and urge the citizens of Toronto to take a stand. Banning shark fins is the only effective way to quickly stop an unsustainable, often illegal and inhumane world practice with far reaching ramifications,” says Julie Andersen, founder of Shark Angels and co-leader of Fin Free. “I have personally witnessed the devastation and unsustainable destruction of this industry around the world during the last five years and desperately urge City leadership to act in favor of not just the sharks but its citizens. This isn't a cultural issue - it is a world issue.”


Media Contact: Julie Andersen, +1.917.689.5972, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

15
Oct

Rob Stewart’s Revolution; Audience Choice for Most Popular Environmental Film

Written by United Conservationists on Monday, 15 October 2012 22:00.

Toronto - October 15th 2012

Revolution has won Best Documentary at the Atlantic Film Festival and was a Best Documentary runner up at the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as being the highest-rated Canadian documentary. Now Rob's Revolution has won Best Environment Film Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival. VIFF will show the new documentary for a 4th time thanks to such a overwhelming reception. See the details below:

The next showing in Vancouver is on October 18th at 7:00 pm at the Vancity Theatre. Click here to buy tickets!

Check out some praise, interviews and articles for Revolution:

The Tyee- Rob Stewart's Mission to Save the Humans

Hill Times - Stewart's on a New Mission to Help Save Humanity

Vancouver Sun - Director Rob Stewart Wades into Murky Waters

 

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