David McGuire,
MEH, Director Shark Stewards, Founder Shark Stewards

MEH, Director Shark Stewards, Founder Shark Stewards

David McGuire Photo

A marine biologist and shark advocate, David McGuire is the founder of the Ocean Health and Shark Conservation non profit Shark Stewards. As a sailing captain, dive master and filmmaker, David has explored the world ocean on numerous sailing voyages producing media with an emphasis on sharks and ocean awareness.

David McGuire, MEH, Director Shark Stewards McGuire

David McGuire is the founder and director of the Shark and Ocean
Health non profit Shark Stewards as part of the Earth Island Institute. As a Research Associate of the Department of Aquatic Biology at the California Academy of Sciences, David is conducting a shark research program that includes population studies, movements and fisheries impacts in Malaysia and in the San Francisco Bay. A Captain, Dive Master and filmmaker, David explores the world ocean on numerous sailing voyages producing media with an emphasis on ocean awareness.
Educated in Marine Biology, he holds a masters degree in Environmental Health, worked in education and public health at the University of California at Berkeley and is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco in the Department of Environmental Science and a National Geographic Explorer.

His advocacy catalyzed the coalition leading to the passage of the California Shark Conservation Act (Fong, Huffman) in the State of California, the Shark Conservation Act, AB 376. Since then Shark Stewards has worked in shark fin regulations in 11 US states and currently is supporting a US law to eliminate the trade of shark fins in the United States.

As a documentarian and diver, he has conducted expeditions with California Academy researchers communicating the wonders of the natural world and ocean life and the need to protect them, including a two month expedition to the Philippines where he collected and filmed. He was awarded an Emmy for his work in the production of the series Reefs to Rainforest on the Academy expedition. Shark Stewards has catalyzed an alliance in Malaysian Borneo to reduce shark fishing and the shark fin trade and create marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle and develops ocean media to educate and advocate marine protection.

Active in the California Marine Protected Areas and local National Marine Sanctuaries, he is Co-chair on the Golden Gate MPA Collaborative, communicating the science and regulations of MPAs and facilitating compliance. David is the writer, producer and underwater cinematographer of several award-winning documentaries focusing on sharks. He has also published numerous articles on the state of the ocean and sharks.

He is a National Geographic Explorer and writes for Changing Planet and Ocean Views on sharks and ocean health. He also runs an Open Explorer project with National Geographic communicating science and adventure to youth.  David is also an author of numerous articles and fiction and non fiction books including Surviving the Shark. He sits on several boards of non-profits including The San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, the Green Film Festival and the Cordell Bank Marine Sanctuary Association. He has received numerous awards for his work including an award for Journalism
with KQED for the investigative story Sea Horse Sleuth, the 2011 Hero of Marin Environmental Stewardship Award.

David has been recognized by Congressman Jared Huffman for his work introducing the successful California Shark Fin Trade Ban, and was awarded the Hero of Marin Award for that work. He has also been recognized as a Hero of the Environment by the Town of Pacifica for his educational and ocean conservation work. In 2018 he was given the Hartzog Award by the National Parks Service for youth volunteer program for the Aquatic Park Stewards project. In 2019 David was recognized as an ocean hero by the International Ocean Film Festival, San Francisco for his filmmaking, advocacy and 13 year contribution to the festival.

An ocean adventurer and athlete, David is an open water marathon swimmer, swimming for sharks.  His current work includes an online film series called Borneo From Below and a book on Sharks, Skates and Rays of the San Francisco Bay.

Boards and Service

  • Trainer/educating partner White Shark Stewardship Project. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
  • Board member Cordell Bank National Sanctuary Foundation
  • Founder Sea Stewards Ocean Media & Shark Stewards
  • Research Associate, Department of Aquatic Biology, California Academy of Sciences
  • Member California Ocean Communicator’s Alliance
  • Co-Chair, Golden Gate Marine Protected Areas Collaborative Group
  • Screening Committee and Program Developer San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival
  • Co-founding advisory member San Francisco Green Film Festival


    • Ocean Hero International Ocean Film Festival, San Francisco
    • 2018 Hartzog Award for Youth Group Volunteerism, Western Region and National Division, US National Parks Service
    • Youth Film Award, Hang Onto Your Butts, San Francisco International Ocean Film Fetsival
    • 2014 Blue on Blue Award for Protecting the Bay and Ocean, San Francisco Dolphin Club
    • 2013 Hero of the Environment by the Town of Pacifica for his educational and ocean conservation work.
    • 2012 Certificate of Recognition for Environmental Stewardship, County of Marin
    • 2012 North America Broadcast Emmy of the documentary Reefs to Rainforests.
    • 2012 California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition for Service, Assemblyman Jared Huffman for work introducing the successful California Shark Fin Trade Ban
    • 2011 Hero of Marin Environmental Stewardship Award

Speaking and Teaching Engagements

    • University of California Berkeley
    • University of San Francisco
    • San Francisco State University
    • San Jose State University
    • Moss Landing Marine Laboratory
    • Presdio Graduate School
    • California Academy of Sciences
    • Monterey Bay Aquarium
    • Smithsonian Museum
    • Scripps Institute of Oceanography