My 9 year old niece, Kayla Byers, saw Rob Stewart's documentary Shark Water, and she decided to spread the word to help save sharks by giving a speech about it at school. Not surprisingly, considering Rob's photographic background, there are some incredible photos and video footage over at the Sharkwater website.
Here's Kayla's speech...
Doonuu Doonuu daanuu..... the 1975 movie Jaws still to this day has cast fear into many beach goers, and has contributed to the misconception of sharks. Good morning teacher, parents boys and girls, I am speaking to you today about the movie the 2007 documentary Shark Water. Shark water is a Canadian documentary written and directed by Rob Stewart, Who also plays the lead role. Rob like most children was interested in sharks, However he was encouraged to stay away from then by his parents. As an adult Rob became passionate about educating the world on sharks before they become extended. The Move begins in the Galapagos Island, Where there is one of the only protected breading grounds for Hammerhead sharks.
At the end of one of Robs Dives he was horrified to find a long line fishing line. These fishing lines can be 6 miles line and kills anything that gets caught in it. Rob made it his goal to stop the slaughtering of e legal shark fishing industry. Shark fishing is done for the purpose of making shark fin soup. One pound of dried shark fin can retail in Asia for $300 or more. Rob takes his journey to the Coco Island in Costa Rica with Paul Watson and his Sea Shepperd conservation society. All of the member in board are aware if the estimated100 million sharks killed yearly for their tasteless fins. Among the graphic footage that Rob filmed the movie also show boat chases with the poachers and police, the Sea Shepperd ramming into fishing boats, hidden camera footage of a massive shark finning facility drying more then 1 million shark fins and Paul and Rob being forced to flee the country by gun point.
Suddenly Rpb comes down with Tuberculosis, Danga Feaver, West Nile virus and Flesh eating disease all at the same time he was hospitalized for over a month and was encouraged by his doctors to stop filming and not return to the tropical countries. Instead after Rob recovered he returned to the Islands to finish his dream the movie Shark Water.
Great job Kayla!
For those of you that aren't familiar with Rob Stewart, here's a little background info from his website Abandon Fear.
Before making Sharkwater, Stewart spent four years traveling the world as chief photographer for the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s magazines and as an award-winning freelance photojournalist. Leading expeditions to the most remote areas of the world, Stewart has logged thousands of hours underwater, using the latest in rebreather and camera technologies.
Stewart’s award-winning library of underwater motion and still images has been sought out by some of the most popular and well-respected media companies around the globe, from BBC Wildlife, Discovery Channel, ABC, Asian Diver, Entertainment Tonight and various GEO magazines.
While on assignment to photograph sharks in the Galapagos Islands, Stewart discovered illegal long lining, indiscriminately killing sharks within the marine reserve. He tried promoting awareness through print campaigns, but when the public didn’t respond, Stewart decided to make a film to bring people closer to sharks. At the age of 22, he left his photography career behind and embarked on a remarkable journey over four years and through 15 different countries, resulting in the epic: Sharkwater.
When Stewart boarded Sea Shepherd’s ship, Sharkwater took a turn from a beautiful underwater film into an incredible human drama filled with corruption, espionage, attempted murder charges and mafia rings, forcing Stewart and his crew to become part of the story. During filming, Stewart encountered every obstacle imaginable, including life-threatening diseases such as West Nile, Tuberculosis, Dengue Fever and flesh-eating Disease.
The film has been hugely successful, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival, and winning a “Canada’s Top Ten” award. Sharkwater has gone on to become the most award-winning documentary of the year, winning at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Sharkwater recently made history as the largest opening weekend of any Canadian documentary and the third largest opening weekend of a documentary in Canadian history, second only to Fahrenheit 911 and Supersize Me.
Check out Sharkwater and check out Abandon Fear.