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’s undergraduate work in Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara lead him to study whales in Mexico, and join an expedition across the Pacific. He has a masters degree in environmental health from UC Berkeley, where he worked for over a decade in the Department of Integrative Biology. A Research Associate of the Department of Aquatic Biology at the California Academy of Sciences, David is conducting a shark research program that includes shark population studies, movements and fisheries impacts. An adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco, David teaches marine protection policy and marine ecology. He is a popular public speaker, lecturing at large conferences, at universities, on television and appearing on film advocating for sharks.

He has participated in numerous sailing voyages and scientific diving expeditions expeditions with Academy researchers communicating the wonders of the natural world and ocean life and the need to protect them, including a two month biodiversity expedition to the Philippines where he filmed and produced an Emmy award winning film Reef to Rainforests.

David is the writer, producer and underwater cinematographer of several award winning documentaries focusing on sharks, including an online series in Borneo. He has also published numerous articles on the state of the ocean and sharks and writes a National Geographic Explorers blog and an Ocean Voices column on sharks and ocean health.

Shark Stewards is dedicated to ending overfishing sharks and the shark fin trade and protecting critical marine habitat. Their advocacy catalyzed the coalition leading to the passage of the California Shark Conservation Act in the State of California. Their work on shark fin trade regulation is ongoing in other US states and in the Western Pacific through the Pacific Shark Coalition.

In California David is co-chair of the Golden Gate Marine Protected Area Collaborative, communicating and facilitating marine protection in California’s statewide MPA network and engaging public as citizen scientists. Their youth program Shark Watch brings underserved children to the Bay and ocean, explaining marine ecosystems, observing and recording wildlife and cleaning up marine debris.

David selects and emcees films and hosts panels at film festivals including the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival and the San Francisco Green Film Festival and is a popular public speaker sharing his ocean stories and images.

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, and an Emmy award for his work on the documentary Reefs to Rainforests. David has been recognized by Congressman Jared Huffman for his work, and was awarded the Hero of Marine 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.

An ocean adventurer and athlete, David has competed in numerous endurance events such as the Trans Pacific yacht Race, Hawaii Ironman and is an open water marathon swimmer, swimming for sharks. Current projects include an adventure film on diving with sharks in Malaysia and a book on sharks 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-founder, advisory member San Francisco Green Film Festival


  • 2020 Certificate of Recognition for Environmental Stewardship, County of Marin
  • 2011 Hero of Marin Environmental Stewardship Award
  • 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
  • 2013 Hero of the Environment by the Town of Pacifica for his educational and ocean conservation work.
  • 2014 Blue on Blue Award for Protecting the Bay and Ocean, San Francisco Dolphin Club
  • 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