Sharks are the primary focus of streaming media service WaterBear’s latest addition to its growing roster of nature-centric programming.
The inclusion of the late Canadian filmmaker/conservationist Rob Stewart’s three-film Sharkwater series is considered a wake-up call regarding the increasing threat of human negligence on the world’s diverse range of shark species. The three films – Sharkwater (2006), Revolution (2012), and Sharkwater Extinction (2018) – collectively raise the alarm against the million-dollar shark finning industry and the continued portrayal of sharks as malevolent entities by popular media.
According to WaterBear’s head of acquisitions Josh Blau, it is the platform’s way of honoring Stewart’s legacy and raising awareness regarding the plight of endangered aquatic species.
Fueled by Passion
As a nature filmmaker, Stewart’s life and career were dedicated to raising awareness on the way humans were destroying marine biodiversity, particularly where sharks were concerned.
Over the decades, his films earned numerous accolades and have been seen by a 125 million-strong global audience. In addition, Stewart’s groundbreaking work has led to bans against shark finning and the shark trade in general in over 90 countries.
Stewart believed that if he could change public perception regarding sharks, the world could love these animals as much as he did. He wanted people to see the innate beauty of this highly misunderstood marine creature in the hope that they would take up the struggle for the conservation of sharks.
A collaborative endeavor with marine advocacies Sea Shepherd and Parley for the Oceans, the airing of Stewart’s Sharkwater Trilogy via WaterBear aims to encourage viewers to support Nets Out Now. Operating from Australia, this petition demands the removal of drum lines and nets used for culling sharks from territorial waters.
A Race Against Time
However, despite Stewart’s advocacy, more than 100 million sharks a year are still being slaughtered.
While that is the official figure, experts believe that the actual number maybe 273 million, leading to increased alarm at the increased risk of shark extinction. Indeed, it is estimated that shark populations worldwide have decreased by over 70% over the past five decades.
Indeed, unless finning operations and trade in shark products are brought to a halt, many major shark species may go extinct within the next several years.
Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater Trilogy is one of many nature documentaries currently available through the WaterBear platform. All may be seen through its official website and streaming app.