The 16th annual Ocean Film festival was a huge success, with a sold-out reception and opening of Sharkwater Extinction. The festival awarded the Shark Water Team the Conservation award, and team member Brock Cahill attended and accepted the award. For me, having met the late Robert Stewart and with Rob, used the first Shark Water film to help leverage US state shark fin trade bans, the film was a bitter-sweet and moving experience.

Sharkwater Given Conservation Award at International Ocean Film Festival San Francisco. From left Brock Cahill, Team Sharkwater, Ana Blanco Director IOFFSF, David McGuire, Director Shark Stewards

With Brock Cahill we vowed to continue Rob Stewart’s legacy and ban the shark fin trade in the USA, Canada and overseas in Asia. Our festival is an action film festival, and Saturday we hosted our shark block with an action panel discussion following with shark experts, managers and activists.

Vancouver Shark Stewards leader, 18 year old Alice Zhao, is promoting the Canadian Shark Fin Trade Ban. Since our successful efforts to reduce the shark fin trade in the USA through 12 state shark fin bans, the trade has gone up in Canada.

The youth made a shark, signed by advocates to send to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson.

Add your voice here to stop the shark fin trade in Canada.

Driven largely by the shark fin trade and illegal fishing, over 100 million sharks and rays are killed each year up in the global fin trade. The process of shark finning is a fishing practice involving cutting the fins off the shark – often while still alive – and then tossing the shark back into the ocean where it either drowns, bleeds to death.

This cruel and wasteful practice is causing dangerous declines in many species of sharks and rays globally. Shark finning is illegal in Canadian waters.  However, Canada is the largest importer of shark fins outside of Asia and this demand is growing. According to Statistics Canada, more than 170,000kg of shark fins were imported in 2017 – a 60 % increase from the amount imported in 2012.

Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart exposed this trade to the world in his 2006 movie, Sharkwater. Rob died tragically but his parents and team produced Sharkwater Extinction to continue to fight shark finning and the illegal, and legal shark fin trade.

Over past years, Canadians have supported government bans on the trade of shark fins through the passage of city and provincial laws.

 In the spring of 2018, Bill S-238 was unanimously passed by the Senate Fisheries Committee, now, the House of Commons needs to pass it so that it can become law. We need your help to make sure Bill S-238 passes to keep Canada out of the cruel and inhumane shark fin trade.

Bill S-238, originally introduced by Senator MacDonald introduced will stop the import and export of shark fins in Canada. The Bill, introduced by Senator Michael MacDonald in 2017, passed by an overwhelming margin by the Senate in late October. Now lead by Member of Parliament Fin Donnelly, the Ban on Shark Fin Trade Act, Canada has now passed into the House of Commons. 

Please join the youth of Shark Stewards Vancouver and add your name to our petition calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson to support the passage of Bill S-238 to end the import and export of shark fins. 

Help us remember Robert Stewart and continue his crusade and ours, to save sharks form the shark fin trade and let sharks live!

Listen to the podcast on Sanctuaries and Sharks by American Shoreline with Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Maria Brown and Shark Stewards Director David McGuire.

Adopt a Shark or reef system and support our shark and reef conservation program. Donate today!