007 - In Memory of Robbie Stewart with Brock Cahill
Arguing that sharks are misunderstood as dangerous creatures, biologist Rob Stewart traveled to the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica and other places where the animals can be found and released an award winning, life-changing documentary called Sharkwater in 2007. Underwater, he fed sharks to demonstrate their fundamentally nonviolent nature. With 90 percent of the shark population destroyed by indiscriminate hunting, Stewart joined forces with conservationist Paul Watson to fight poachers who illegally kill the animals for their fins and sell the meat to the Taiwanese Mafia.
Helping to protect sharks, changing government policy, and inspiring the creation of shark conservation groups, Sharkwater is considered one of conservation's success stories.
Rob’s second film, Revolution, continued his quest to save sharks and the oceans. Revolution was the first feature film to platform the devastating effects of Ocean Acidification. Climate change was well known, but scientists were just realizing the effects would be much worse than ever imagined. We were in danger of losing the coral reefs, and potentially the entire ocean ecosystem, which gives us 60% of our oxygen. Sharks, the top predator controlling the fish populations below them and the plankton that give us our oxygen, were being fished to extinction in an ecosystem they have controlled for 400 million years.
100 – 150 million sharks are killed every year, but only about half of them are reported, including endangered species. Shark populations have dropped more than 90% in the last 40 years. Without the oceans’ main predator, marine ecosystems are being destroyed beyond repair.
Sharkwater: Extinction continues the adventure across four continents, as Rob travels through the oceans to investigate the corruption behind a multi-billion dollar industry. The crew goes through some of the world’s most dangerous fishing ports run by international crime organizations that have infiltrated the fishing industry.
Sharkwater: Extinction dives into remote underwater locations to reveal the catastrophic effects humanity has had on the oceans. Illegal overfishing of sharks across the planet has deeper consequences that puts the Earth’s most important ecosystem in danger of collapsing, which threatens all life in, and above, the ocean.
Stewart dedicated his life to conservation, saying: “Conservation is the preservation of human life. And, that, above all else is worth fighting for.” He taught the world to love the oceans and their creatures and not fear sharks through his iconic images of hugging and free diving with sharks and mantas.
Sadly, Robbie passed away while shooting Sharkwater Extinction last January 2017… he was a Canadian photographer, filmmaker and conservationist, and all around amazing human being he was compassionate, inspired, and a lot of fun. We lost him too early but his spirit and legacy live on through his upcoming film Sharkwater Extinction, his family, his closest friends, and their conservation efforts.
I had the pleasure of meeting Robbie together with a fantastic group of 40 creative humans at a Tony Robbins UPW event 3 years ago in Los Angeles, we started talking about collaborating on a project, and then all of a sudden, he was gone. It was hard to accept that he did, just like that, when there was still so much to do, and create, and enjoy for him, and those of us who were lucky to share some life moments with him.
I wanted to dedicate this episode 7 to celebrating his life and work. Robbie, we miss you so much, and at the same time, your spirit is so alive, we all feel you so present. Wherever you are, thank you for your legacy
So today, we have the pleasure to have Brock Cahill on the show, Brock is a Cinematic Activist and Preservation Tactician Aligned with the Intention of Nature, i.e. Captain at TeamSharkwater, as well as President and Founder of The SeaChange Agency. He is the long time dive buddy, and brother in fins, of our beloved friend late Rob Stewart.
Robbie always gently reminded Brock that the camera is our greatest weapon in the revolution to save the world.
Their escapades have carried them around the globe, and through the seven seas on the quest to save sharks, and activate humanity.