Sharkwater 2 to continue in honor of Rob Stewart

By Alexandra Heilbron on February 8, 2017 | 18 Comments

Last photo taken of Rob Stewart The movie Rob Stewart was filming when he met with tragedy in the Florida Keys will be continued, according to his parents, Brian and Sandy Stewart. They are taking time to grieve the loss of their beloved son, but they confirm that Rob’s hard work on Sharkwater: Extinction will be honored by completing the film and getting his message out.

Rob worked diligently to save sharks, whose numbers have been decimated by illegal shark finning, and to save the environment, as seen in his second award-winning film, Revolution. His first film, Sharkwater, won more than 50 awards around the world and was the highest grossing documentary in Canada in the last 10 years. When Rob filmed the movie, only four countries had a ban on shark finning. Since then, his efforts to protect sharks led to over 80 countries installing bans on the cruel practice.

Rob, who was awarded Planet in Focus’ International Eco-Hero Award in 2014, disappeared during a dive in the Florida Keys. Tragically, his body was found three days later. A funeral, celebration of life and memorial has tentatively been announced for Saturday, February 18 in Toronto. It will be open to the public.

His family has released a statement that reads: “The outpouring of love, support, encouragement and prayers we’ve received from across the globe since Rob went missing continues to be overwhelming. We’d like to reiterate our profound appreciation and respect for the U.S. Coast Guard, the three levels of Canadian political officials who offered their assistance, and all of the many professionals and selfless volunteers who committed their time and resources in trying to bring our son and brother home safely.”

“Our hearts are broken. While we are overcome with grief, we know in our hearts that Rob is at peace and that he would want us to continue his mission to save the sharks and the oceans, and to inspire the world to protect and nurture our planet.  We are committed to realizing Rob’s goals and will not rest until the change he fought for tirelessly is achieved.”

Rob, seen above in the last photograph taken of him (provided by the Stewart family), was a hero to many, including Pablo Garcia, who made the video tribute found below in his memory. If you have memories of Rob you would like to share, please tell us in the comments below.

Comments & Discussion

  1. marymary • February 8, 2017 @ 5:16 PM

    i wish he had the chance to make many more movies teaching us about the underwater world

  2. Robert Timmons • February 8, 2017 @ 6:50 PM

    Rob Stewart’s documentare Sharkwater changed my life on so many levels. My art had no path back in 2007 until his passion for sharks spoke to me. I became a painter that paints the voices of the ocean, a volunteer for Sea Shepherd, and a vegan. Rob became a friend and that I am honored. The past decade has been incredible because of Rob and I will be painting Rob for an upcoming art show since he is my favourite ocean hero. His infectious passionate energy will live on within me forever and keep me moving forward for the ocean.

  3. Andrea • February 8, 2017 @ 10:13 PM

    Brave and wonderful decision on the part of his family. I look forward to seeing it.

  4. Aleksa • February 9, 2017 @ 1:06 AM

    I’m so glad they are able to complete his film.

    Is there any further news on the funeral? A time or location?

  5. Francesca De Vidi • February 9, 2017 @ 7:34 AM

    Rob was and will always be our hero…

  6. Alexandra Heilbron • February 9, 2017 @ 9:35 AM

    Hi Aleksa, as soon as we have further information on the funeral, we’ll post it here.

  7. Homer • February 9, 2017 @ 10:25 AM

    Great post Robert Timmons!

  8. Mike Hunt` • February 9, 2017 @ 11:37 AM

    Would be nice if proceeds from the movie, and anything left over from the go fund me page to find him- were donated to a sea rescue type charity.
    Hate to think that anyone would exploit his death for their own personal financial gain.

    Sad for his parents. Whenever you lose a child, it is tragic. Not the natural order.

  9. Deb Lehman • February 9, 2017 @ 12:54 PM

    Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater impacted me but I didn’t realize how much until Feb 1, 2017. I have always been a fish nerd and will love the earth’s ocean and lakes forever.
    Thanks to Rob Stewart (who was taken from us too early) for all he did in his 37 years for our earth 🐠🐠🐠 and thank you to his family for their commitment to continue his work.

    Deb Lehman
    saving the Creatures Photography
    Waterloo Region, Ontario

  10. Chris • February 9, 2017 @ 1:15 PM

    Rob Stewart is an inspiration. he will never be forgotten. I never knew the passion and interest I had for the oceans, aquatic life and preservation of our oceans, until i watched Sharkwate. It was from this point where I took a real interest in diving with the goal of seeing Sharks up close. I’ve encountered sharks on several occasions underwater and each experience has been very exhilarating yet surprisingly calm. I can thank Rob for allowing me to see through the rhetoric and dismay any possible fears I had for sharks. On my visit to Asia in 2006 I had taken a copy of Sharkwater to spread the knowledge to fellow divers and locals to my surprise, his movie Sharkwater was quite popular and commonly being played on televisions surrounding the coast.

    Rob was a leader in shark conservation. I will continue to be an advocate for shark preservation while also financially contributing to help save them

    Thank You, Rob. You are already missed.

  11. Katrina • February 9, 2017 @ 2:46 PM

    I’ve only had the pleasure to meet Rob once at the premier of Sharkwater here in Toronto. From the moment I met him I completely understood how at ease the sharks feel around him while he swam with them. There is a special ora about Rob that instantly makes you feel good and special around him.
    It’s wonderful that Sharkwater 2 will continue. I cannot wait to see it. May Rob and his message live on in all of us. God bless all of Rob’s family and friends.

  12. Samantha • February 10, 2017 @ 9:21 PM

    Mike: They announced that all the funds from the GoFundMe campaign were used for the search and rescue and they actually spent $40K more than they took in, at one point they had 11 helicopters flying over the search area.

    I’m looking forward to Sharkwater 2, it will be a great tribute to Rob’s memory. I feel terrible for his parents, I can’t even imagine what they’re going through. Wishing them strength.

  13. Julien Thévenet • February 13, 2017 @ 6:10 AM

    I am moved by the disappearance of this man. I appeciate Rob Stewart’s passion for sharks and their defense against human barbarity. Thank you to his team and his family to continue Sharkwater : Extinction and his work.

    I am waiting to see it in cinema in France, where Sharkwater (Les Seigneurs de la mer) had a well-deserved sucess in 2008, the biggest after North America. I hope a similar success for Sharkwater 2 to honor the memory of Rob Stewart and to convince us to believe in our own passion.

    Don’t forget Rob’s work and continue it !

  14. Steven Aboud • February 13, 2017 @ 11:14 AM

    I was educated and moved by Rob’s first film and since donated to the cause. Now, I would like to honor him, his community and cause by attending his funeral service. Where and when will it be held?

  15. Elaine dembe • February 13, 2017 @ 7:18 PM

    I would like to attend the funeral for rob who inspired me with his passion for life. Please let us know time and location on February 18th
    Thanks so much

  16. Stephanie • February 16, 2017 @ 2:04 PM
  17. Janet • February 25, 2017 @ 9:27 PM

    Watched the movie for the 4th time today at a theatre. Although other seats were purchased, I was allowed the privilege to enjoy a private viewing on this very rainy day. The movie changed my view of sharks many years ago when I first viewed the film; what a very fine human being. Hopefully the message will continue to travel. So sorry for your loss.

  18. Hillary Hunt • May 3, 2017 @ 1:40 PM

    I just watched this documentary on Netflix. Since I was a little girl, 6 years old, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I’ve been fascinated with marine life. The film stirred anger and longing within me to do something, something I’ve always loved and dreamed of. I was very impressed at how young Rob was and yet so mature and caring. He reminds me of my now 18 year old son. What an amazing young man. My heart goes out to his family, friends, and coworkers. God bless you all. Your Rob accomplished many great things in his short life. There aren’t many people who can they accomplished THAT much in an entire, long, full life! Truly amazing! God bless you.

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