In Loving Memory of Rob Stewart

Rob Stewart Tribute

Sharkwater – A Tribute to Rob Stewart

We are so deeply grateful to everyone who helped search, and happy that Rob passed while doing what he loved. We are working on how best to honour his incredible work. If you would like to share your memories or messages with the public, please post them using the form below. We are working on a way to share photos as well.
A celebration of life for Rob Stewart

For private messages to the family please click here

Rob Stewart accomplished so much in his life, but there’s still more to do. To honour Rob’s memory, the Stewart family is collecting donations in order to continue his conservation work. You can help by visiting A tax receipt will be issued.

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  1. We have lost one of the most influential crusaders for ocean conservation. His documentary, Sharkwater, sent ripples of positive action across the world, including new legal enforcement in countless nations. He helped change generations of negative views of the ocean’s top predators; critical to ocean ecosystems. His life is a perfect example of how far passion can take you in life if you just apply it. He will live on for years through his extraordinary work and its impact on the world. This is truly a loss to the environmental community as he had so much work yet to be done and now it’s up to us to honour his legacy by carrying out and expanding upon his teachings. RIP Rob. Indeed you will be missed.

    Laura Briggs 3:11 am on February 5, 2017
  2. My sincerest condolences to Rob’s family and friends. As an educator who taught Earth science, and a geologist and oceanographer by degree/training, the loss of such an amazing champion for our planet is hard to take. I am sharing the post I shared on my personal FB page:

    I’ve been sad about this since hearing he had gone missing, and I was hoping for the best, but it wasn’t to be. Please take a moment to let me tell you why you should care about the death of this amazing individual, and how one person really can make a major difference that leads to the world being a better place because of their existence:

    In my time at Pleasant Grove HS, in Elk Grove, CA, where I taught, I had developed a research unit for the end of the school year that allowed students in the Earth science classes (about 500 every year) to explore ways in which humans are positively and negatively impacting the planet (environment, animals, etc.). The students overwhelmingly LOVED this unit, and so did I, and it allowed for amazing discussions and reflection, and, most importantly, learning and opening their eyes/minds to things that many didn’t even know were happening in the world. As an educator, I can tell you that that time every year was a magical one for me to witness, and I will forever relish my memories from the things I saw transpire as a result of what these students were learning and figuring out…it was a moment of tremendous growth and opening their minds to possibilities, as well as real world issues that could directly impact them.

    One of the most transforming moments EVERY YEAR during this unit was when I, and the other teachers who were on my Earth science team, showed the film “Sharkwater” to the students. My students and I would always have discussions about their thoughts on sharks before we watched the film, and they would mostly be the typical comments you would expect: dangerous, scary, killers, etc. – all the things sensationalized in movies or in the news when a shark attack would occur. BUT AFTER watching the movie? Total change and transformation in their thinking – because they were given knowledge and data and an understanding that most hadn’t been presented with before. And EVERY time I showed the film, in every class, I would have students who would cry while watching it; this comes as no surprise to me, because I cried or teared up every time I showed it (and that was 5 times in a day for 2 days every year).

    Of course, we would have a discussion after watching “Sharkwater”, and it would lead to declarations of how glad they were that Rob Stewart had made the movie. Many students would come back within a few days to tell me they had made they family watch the movie and that it caused them to want to learn more and to help; I would get emails from parents too that they had discussions with their kids that they never thought they would – this happened every year. Even more importantly, the students would want to know more about how they could help sharks (the message of the film is about shark finning and the major importance of the role of sharks in our ocean ecosystem and how that ultimately has an impact upon us), AND they would want to know about other issues that could be causing major disruptions to nature and our lives that the majority of people don’t think about or have knowledge of. Their minds were opened to seeking knowledge and better understanding the world we live in – because of a movie about sharks made in 2006 by a marine biologist from Canada who hadn’t even set out to make that movie. During my time at PGHS, I know over 3500 students saw “Sharkwater”, and it was shown in classrooms all around the world by other teachers too.

    So Rob Stewart, a man who just died in the ocean, a place that he dearly loved and appreciated, was a hero in my eyes. He was a champion for sharks and for our ocean ecosystems, and his film led to a ban on shark finning in many countries around the world. He changed the way people who saw the film will think of sharks for the rest of their lives. He was working on a new film when he died – something that he hoped would have spread more knowledge and info to help people better understand how we humans can change the world via the environment for better or worse. He certainly changed the world for the better by bringing to light some of the worst, and his energy and spirit and light that shone so brightly upon this planet will be greatly missed. ????

    You can read all about “Sharkwater” on the website if you want (, but more importantly, you should watch it.

    Michelle Abriani 3:30 am on February 5, 2017
  3. Rob was one of a shining star among the many warriors who fight for animals all over the world, a true inspiration, he will not be forgotten.
    Repose en paix.

    Helene Defossez 3:43 am on February 5, 2017
  4. If I could make half the impact, accomplish half the feats and inspire half of the people that Rob did in my lifetime I would be so incredibly proud. This man makes me proud to be a conservationist, a scientist and a Canadian. We’ve lost an incredible man, however his legacy is unforgettable. Happy Diving, Rob.

    Sydney Trimming 3:46 am on February 5, 2017
  5. I only got to know about Sharkwater and Rob not long ago.
    I just wish that his legacy will continue, and I just would like to add that people like Rob make me feel proud of being a Human Being. His work has already inspired many like me, and we know he will be among us forever.
    Thanks Rob!

    Lluís Torrents 5:35 am on February 5, 2017
  6. A truly inspiring person, his legacy will live on.

    Catherine Forshall 5:46 am on February 5, 2017
  7. Thanks to Rob for telling the true story of sharks what beautiful creatures they are and showing the world how to understand and see the beauty in what they fear the most. Although it is sad that he has passed before his time, the thought of him being forever in the ocean swimming with the sharks he loved so much is such a beautiful image. Thoughts to his family at this difficult time.

    Amy 5:59 am on February 5, 2017
  8. always the best of us died first…
    rest in peace !

    a fan 6:07 am on February 5, 2017
  9. Thank you for opening our eyes, and the people around us. We will always remember you en keep spreading your message. Rest in peace.

    Liselot 7:10 am on February 5, 2017
  10. I miss the words to express what I feel.
    I am a biology student from Austria and although I have never met Rob Stewart personally I am deeply sad about his death.
    What he has set in motion must not be stopped.
    It is not only a loss for our seas, but also a great loss for humanity.
    Rob, I am deeply grateful to you for all you have done for us, and I hope that all your deeds will continue to make waves So that people can awaken from their sleep, because together we can be the tsunami of change.

    – Deborah

    “For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”

    – Kahlil Gibran

    Now you are dancing with the Sharks…

    Deborah 10:24 am on February 5, 2017
  11. We did not know Rob personally, but having watched his Amazing works and bringing his message into our home as a family unit, gave us all the bonded/united sensation that he was the goodness that can be found inside each and every one of us. A true advocate for the underdog and the world. His message rings loud and clear to those of us who care about the world we live in and All its many creatures within it. We all have purpose in this Life, His message and cause will live on eternally.

    We are incredibly sorrowed by this news and wish to offer our Prayers of Comfort, Strength and Healing to all Family and Friends.

    God Bless you All. Thanks Rob x

    Tiffany Veeneman 10:39 am on February 5, 2017
  12. My sister introduced me to Sharkwater when I was a teenager, and it had a profound impact on me. I had no idea such atrocities were happening every day and I was outraged. Rob completely changed my view on sharks & marine protection. I went to see Rob speak a few times, and every time I left feeling passionate and empowered to make positive change in this world. I was so heartbroken to hear the news of his passing on Friday night. It feels so unfair that someone who has worked so tirelessly for the greater good should be taken from this world so soon. I can’t imagine how his family must be feeling right now, but I want to send all my love, thoughts, prayers and positive energy to them during this difficult time. While Rob may be gone, his work will live on. We need to make the world fin free, and I think we can collectively make that happen in our own communities in honour of Rob.

    Kaley Fitzsimmons 10:59 am on February 5, 2017
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