OVER 90% OF SHARKS HAVE DISAPPEARED FROM OUR OCEANS – HUMAN JAWS ARE THE REAL THREAT
Sharkwater documentary to hit UK shores from 22 February
The legacy of the Jaws film and people’s growing appetite for sharks fin soup is driving sharks to the point of extinction. Over the past three decades, people have enjoyed being scared by films such as Jaws or Deep Blue Sea which depict sharks as bloodthirsty predators. In reality you are more likely to get killed by a vending machine than by a shark.
Human fear of sharks has prevented public outrage about the booming finning industry. First time director and underwater photographer Rob Stewart is helping explode the myths about sharks and highlight their plight in his award winning film Sharkwater.
Sharkwater took more than four years to make and Stewart travelled through 14 countries to collect the stunning footage. The film began as an underwater documentary, but became a shocking expose into the horrific and illegal global finning trade. During the making of Sharkwater Stewart found that illegal finning was taking place in protected waters such as Costa Rica and The Galapagos.
The demand for shark fins is growing at 5% per year mainly due to the booming Chinese economy. A multibillion dollar industry now exists to meet restaurant demand for fins for the ‘prestigious’ sharks fin soup dish. In reality the fin adds no flavour at all to the soup and can be easily replicated with other ingredients. Finning is a violent procedure and a harsh, slow death for the shark.
When Stewart started making the film, he knew that more than 73 million sharks were being killed every year and only five countries had banned shark finning. More countries have now the process, but the facts show that as of four months prior to filming, 93-99% of the sharks in the Atlantic had gone.
Film creator, Rob Stewart said “My biggest hope and the sole purpose of this film is to highlight the illegal finning industry and encourage people to view sharks in a different way. I hope the media start to portray sharks in a better light by giving people the facts rather than the fiction, and give the choice to make better decisions about sharks.”
Reknowned Chef and TV presenter Ken Hom added:
“Until recently, fear had prevented us from understanding how sharks contributed to our world and how important they are to life on earth. Of course, we Chinese managed to transform our fears into a gastronomic oddity. However, I personally find shark's fins totally flavourless and I don't think it is a worthy contribution to Chinese cuisine. Sharkwater has made me even more aware that for ethical reasons we should boycott dishes containing shark's fins!”
Sharks have roamed the seas for more than 400 million years – making them 200 years older than dinosaurs
Crocodiles kill more people in one year than sharks will in 100 years – crocodiles are protected, sharks are not
Sharks kill 5 people each year
Elephants and tigers kill: 106
Illegal drugs: 22,000
Road accidents: 1,200,000
One pound of dried shark fin retails for $300 or more
One whole whale shark fin can sell for as much as $10,000
Sharkwater has already received critical acclaim picking up a series of awards including ‘Grand Jury Award for Best Feature’ at The Gen Art Film Festival, ‘Must-See Award’ at The Telluride Mountain Film Festival, ‘Top Film’ at Toronto International Film Festival and ‘Best of the Festival’ at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.