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Sharkwater is a 2007 Canadianmarker documentary film written and directed by Rob Stewart, who also plays the lead role. In the film, Stewart seeks to deflate current attitudes about sharks, and exposes how the voracious shark-hunting industry is driving them to extinction.

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 Ricamarker and the Galapagos Islandsmarker, Ecuadormarker.

Stewart travels with Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as they confront shark poachers in Guatemalamarker 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 fueling 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, thereby moderating global warming, they could easily be wiped out within a few years.

The film has won eight major awards and been nominated an additional three times.


"Sharkwater" has received 31 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
  • Documentary Award : Bergen Int'l Film Fest


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