Fan Letter (25 Comments)

stop shark fining

My name is Jessica. I am a Canadian Citizen living and working at a dive shop in Costa Rica. I saw your movie in Canada a couple of years ago while it was in theaters, and ever since then I have had a passion to help save the sharks, despite at the time never having seen one. Now that I work in a dive shop in Costa Rica (in Playas del Coco), I have contact with divers every single day, and I always always ask people ‘have you seen the movie Sharkwater’? I couldn’t believe how many people, divers, who have never even heard about it! These are the people we need to watch the movie! They are people who obviously care about the underwater environment, and they need to know what is happening to it. I endorse the movie every single day. I tell people ‘when you go home you have to watch this movie’. But it would be easier if I had some movies there to sell people. I don’t know if there is any way we could arrange buying a whole box of the movie so that I could tell ALL of my customers to buy it!

One day a man came into our shop just fuming mad, and he said he had went to a little fresh fish market place to buy some fish and they had at least 60 shark fins and a manta ray all chopped up. We have a huge painting on the side of our shop that says ‘stop shark fining’ so as he was passing by to go to the supermarket instead to buy fish, he stopped in to tell us about it, in hopes that we would know who to report to about it. We can’t do anything to report them with out proof. so we sent two of our workers to try to get pictures of it. Unfortunately after the man had made such a big fuss about it they had put most of it away. So when our workers got there there wasn’t much to take pictures of. I share this story with you so you can see that I live first hand every day. We see fishing boats out at our dive sites sometimes catching Octopus for example; and then we see none for about a week when we normally see tons! It is just appalling what massacre goes on out there all the time, and more people need to know about it, everyone needs to know about it.
I have made everyone I know in Canada watch the movie, now I need to get all the people who dive with us watch it.

I want to do everything I can to help, please let me know if you can help me get movies sent to my shop for me to sell to all the customers, or if there is anything else I can do to help save sharks.

Best Regards,

25 Responses to “Fan Letter”

    1. Drew October 22nd, 2008 at 11:41 am

      Thanks for your efforts Jessica!


    1. Felix October 22nd, 2008 at 6:59 pm

      Was just in China – wondering if and when the movie will make it’s way there?

    1. Alexis October 28th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

      WOW, that’s pretty intense :S
      I tried to start a petition over e-mail to stop shark finning but only like 5 people signed it sadly :[
      im gonna keep trying though!! 😀

    1. Lock Cooper November 3rd, 2008 at 7:32 pm

      Hey Jessica,

      I live just down south of you in Tamarindo and operated a dive and tour business for years here as well and saw much of what you saw – – it hasnt even begin to sink in here on a national level and unfortunately the environmental degridation here is so much that when it is newsworthy, its on a massive scale and doesnt reach the people for more than the day its on the shelves. The press doesnt do enough to bring the horrors like these to the general public and frankly, people dont care enough or havent been educated enough to have an opinion about it.

      Environmental degridation here is always overlooked and there is little money to put the systems and watchdogs in place to protect it from the evils of capitalism and mega profits things like the logging and shark finning business provide. What we can do is keep spreading the word, raise awareness but even more so persue the legistlation needed to put more stringent environmental protection acts on the already corrupt waters of Costa Rica.. that is where the root of the problem is. See you in the water!

      Lock Cooper
      Chairman – Surfrider Foundation Costa Rica

    1. Nigel Malone November 7th, 2008 at 4:59 pm

      Desperately seeking Rob Stewart…

      Dear Rob, My firm is currently designing a magazine that is dedicated to sustainability and have convinced the publishers to donate 16 pages to sustainability-focused organisations to advertise their cause… We’d like to offer you a double page spread… unfortunately deadline is tight… next week so if you are interested please write me an I shall forward you all the relevant details to consider… Nigel

    1. Rafael Gamboa November 8th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

      Dear Rob:

      I am a Costa Rican Veterinarian. Last night I had the opportunity to see your movie and I feel deeply ashamed of the amazing corruption and hypocrisy of my country…

      I want to apologize with you for this and express that the great majority of my people will never accept this criminal activity.

      The great failure of Democracy, is that very few persons have to power to decided for the all country and very often the “rulers” hide the information from the masses.

      I am actively promoting your movie to make our people aware of what is really going on here.

      Thanks to you and to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society people for risking your lives and opening our eyes.

      Dr. Rafael Gamboa

    1. kellyj November 9th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

      hi my real name is ana, i’m a mexican citizen and i know a little english language…
      i saw the movie (sharkwater)…
      and i though…
      maybe if we xplain to kids what it’s happening they help us to save the sharks, to save the planet, to SAVE US!!
      but… the movie is in english…
      so they don’t understand mostly of things…
      so… if someone of you can dubbed into spanish that would be awesome…


    1. Noemi Perez Omodeo November 18th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

      hi! i´m Noemi from Argentina and i just wanted to say that i saw your movie a few days ago and it was amazing, your story touch all us depply.
      whatever i can do for sharks or another species i will do it, now i know what important it is for our planet and ours lifes.
      i´m studding Boilogy at university and i hope to do something as your work one day. but i really hope that people get conscious about what they re doing to our planet. they have to know that we can change the world for good or for bad…
      i´m doing my best for change te world for good, and you too.
      my best wishes. congratulations!
      pd: sorry about my english… i´m not so goood in foreing languages! 😛 thx!!!

    1. Leonard Rodriguez G. November 22nd, 2008 at 9:57 pm

      I saw the ROb Stewart´s movie, i send my best wishes for Rob and i suggest him to take a look in another pacific´s islands named gorgona and malpelo. location Colombia. there is people in colombia interested in preservation of sea life. may be in our country (colombia), government hear us about this problem. i see a documental and colombian navy support people interested in preservation of the national marine reserves, they were worried about lack of patrols in this zones.

    1. Shaelene November 24th, 2008 at 4:10 pm

      dear Rob Stewart,
      I really loved your movie shark water. I love sharks so much and I did before I watched your movie. when I watched it, it made me realize just how important sharks are. I am a grade 8 student and I’m 13 years old and I live in Canada in Nova Scoita. I think taht shark fining is very cruel and should’t be allowed all around the world. I told all of my friends about the movie and they told me why would you want to watch a movie about sharks. when they told me that I almost broke down into tears. rob, I think what you do is amazing. when I grow up I want to be like you. I also took you movie to a show and tell that we did in french class. when it was my turn to show I said what I had to say in french. some of the girls told me that they thought that you were hot and I said to them that sharks were more improtant than telling me that Rob Stewart is hot( no affence but I think you are hot). I am deeply touched by the movie and would love to see you make another movie about sharks. my fave shark is a great white. I think they are maginificent animals and are not man eaters. even though I had never seen a shark in my life I would do anything to see one in my life.
      shaelene robar

    1. Geoff Taylor December 13th, 2008 at 5:00 pm

      Hi Rob:Greatttt movie.Bought a copy going to buy a second copy for my friend Macao in Cuba.He the director of Sharks Friends dive center at Playa Santa Luciat in Camaguey province Cuba.From October February there are Bull Sharks in the area and the center takes small groups on a dive.On this dive the sharks are hand fed nobody wearing chainmail and nobody is in a cage.The shark is not mindless killer,they are very smart creatures that have survived for 450 million years.They must be protected,if they become extinct the oceans will be totally outof balance.We must all do our part.From reading all the comments the movie has made real impact,every chance I get Iam preaching concerve the ocean and stop the shark killing.I am going to promote Sharks Friend dive center in the new year to get more divers aware of the predecement the shark is in.Again Rob great movie thank you and good luck.

    1. Andres December 19th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

      A couple of weeks ago, the shark mafia of Puntarenas send their boats to block the main pier of the city in an efford to stop the new regulations who forced them to bring all the shark´s body intead of only their fins. That action caused that one cruise ship could not arrive to Puntarenas and is estimated that the loss due to this is over $1.000.000. All the people who live thanks to turism were really mad and ask the goverment for punishment and actions against the people who blocked the pier. Puntarenas is a city with limited employment opportunities.

    1. Emeline Carvalho January 3rd, 2009 at 11:35 am

      Fiquei extremamente emocionada ao ver em um canal de televisão o programa “sharkwater”, não tinha nenhum conhecimento sobre a crueldadde cotra os tubarões, confesso que chorei ao ver as cenas de violação a natureza.
      Estou em uma área de grande desmatamento “Amazônia”, realmente estamos destruindo a vida, acabando com o mundo. O homem é seu pior inimigo, consciente, raciocinio, calculista,
      destroi a ele mesmo e a tudo que tem vida.
      Agradeço a todos aqueles que fazem parte desta ong em defesa da vida.

      Emeline Furtado Monteiro de Carvalho

      I was extremely moved when I saw Sharkwater on television, I did not have any knowledge on the cruelty towards sharks, I confess that I cried when seeing the scenes of violence against nature. I am in an area of great deforestation “the Amazon”, really we are destroying life, finishing with the world. Man is the enemy, without conscience, reasoning, calculating, destroys himself and life. I thank all those that are part of this in defense of life. Emeline Furtado Monteiro de Carvalho

    1. Lucie Brouillette January 8th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

      I just saw the movie this week. It was the first time I had heard about this issue. What an eye opener. So thank you.

      I’d like to suggest that your main web site Sharkwater contains a section about the status of the various countries and their regulations concerning long line fishing and shark fining. Perhaps if we knew which countries are doing the right things we could encourage tourism there but boycott countries that have yet to join the ranks of countries fighting this problem.

      Also you web site could have a link to join a formal facebook or myspace advocacy group.

    1. Jesse February 17th, 2009 at 9:18 am

      Gday From Australia,

      I had the pleasure to watch your movie a while ago when i read about it in a magazine. being a regular diver, I have always had a fascination with sharks. Whats happening over there is a shame and more should be done to stop it. Having said that, every time i go on a diving live-a-board i always bring a copy of ‘Sharkwater’ to try and raise awareness among other divers. Keep up the good work
      Rob you setting the way for the future!

      (Oh and some1 needs to slap William Goh, i mean reeducate him)

    1. Hani - Save the Seas February 25th, 2009 at 2:18 pm

      Hi, I’m Hani, 13 from the UK.
      I’ve have been very interested in the sea and in sharks for a while and after seeing Sharkwater, I was shocked and wanted to make a difference myself, just as Rob Stewart did. I have recently started a website, which is open but still under construction (as of 25th February), which will tell people of the danger we are imposing on our oceans. I would love to hear from anyone interested in linking to me or being linked to as I need to increase traffic to let everyone know. I am planning to add a shop as well to raise money to send to a shark related charity so if anyone has any ideas of who I should contact, I would be very interested to know.
      Thank you.

      website –
      email –

    1. Andrea Fiore February 26th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Rob

      As a fellow Canadian, you couldn’t make me more proud! I have loved animals and nature my whole life and it amazes me how little people know about our beautiful planet and all its beautiful and amazing creatures. I think educating people is our best chance about making a difference. As you found out money seems to be the usual source that drives poaching and unlawful cruel actions against animals. People need to stop financially supporting these types of things but they can’t unless they know about it! I think you did a great job and I hope you continue to make movies that expose the unknown. When Steve irwin died I felt like the animal kingdom had lost one of its greatest advocates but I think you can help fill that void! Congradulations, you are an amazing person.

    1. Carley March 2nd, 2009 at 3:23 pm


      I was just reading through the entries and came across this one….it caught my eye cause I just came back from Costa Rica and saw this painting on the side of your dive shop…and have nearly the exact same photo of it! I was so thrilled to see this painting while in Play del Coco as I had got the Sharkwater DVD for Christmas. We went diving while there and were lucky enough to see a few whitetip reef sharks (I was getting certified and had only gone diving once before so that was an amazing experience). I did not see any shark fins for sale in markets while in Costa Rica (all over the Pacific and Caribbean side), not to say there weren’t any around, but probably lucky that I didn’t as I likely would have caused quite the seen had I come across any (and not the best idea when visiting a foreign country and considering the mafia links with shark finning). I was pleasantly surprised that most Costa Ricans were very outspoken about their thoughts on shark finning and that it was wrong and needed to be stopped.

      I’m proud of your dive shop for creating such a beautiful painting and helping to spread the word!!

      Love from Canada

    1. Andy Cunningham March 4th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

      Last week we had an incredible fundraising night showing the film Sharkwater to the general public at the University theatre in Hobart, Tasmania. I’d contacted Disney and they gave me permission and supplied me with the DVD to use for the evening. Paul Watson was our special guest speaker (who had just returned from chasing Japanese whalers around Antarctica) along with Carlos Perez (Spanish translator) and local Great White enthusiast Chris Black. You could have heard a pin drop as nearly 200 people watched the horror and beauty of your outstanding film for the first time. We raised over A$2000 towards marine conservation for Environment Tasmania.

      Thanks Rob Stewart for making such an eye opening film that got me interested in marine conservation.

    1. Aylin Ulman March 15th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

      Hi there Rob,

      My name is Aylin and I am a dive instructor, marine conservationist and reef ecologist.
      I am presently working in southern Belize for Reef Conservation International. We do quite a bit of conservation work and work on this amazing island called Hunting Caye in the Sapodilla cayes. It is 40 miles off shore, just 5 acres in area and equidistant to Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. For our work we conduce Reef Check and measure both lobster and queen conch populations, we also help the Belizian Fisheries Department (who are world leaders in conservation) do SPAG surveys on grouper and snapper populations.
      Anyways I just had a firend bring down the Sharkwater DVD and have been showing it to all my conservation/diving guests. Every diver needs to see that movie and educate everyone else about the peril sharks face and how not dangerous they are to divers and swimmers and just how toxic their meat is since they are top predators.
      Some locals i know killed an 8 foot hammerhead shark this week for food and becuase they were scared of it and I was sooo upset and made them watch the movie right away. I think I , or actually you, changed their mistrust about sharks.
      Every dive shop needs a copy of that movie.
      Anyways, i am promoting you and your movie all i can.
      You are truly a hero!
      Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help the sharks!
      Good luck and hope to meet you one of these days!
      Education truly works wonders.
      Here is a little quote I love,

      In the end we only conserve what we know,
      We only know what we understand,
      And we only understand what we are taught.

      Baba Dioum, Sengalese Poet.

      Cheers! Keep uo the good work!

      Aylin Ulman

    1. sarah April 14th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

      dear Rob,
      i am trying to start a petition about shark finning. but i dont no like where to send it do i sned it to you? im trying to get as many people to sign it! i also want to help but im only 12 but i still want to help do you guys take donations? if you do please write back i really want to help so untill im old enough to volunteer i want to donate money!

    1. Alexis July 14th, 2009 at 12:32 pm

      Hey Rob and SharkWater staff,
      My name is Alexis, and I live in Mississauga. I met Rob back in April 2008 for a launch party in Toronto. I was just wondering if Rob was coming back to Toronto, or Mississauga, or anywhere close by?
      If he is, I’d LOVE to know so I can meet him again ^.^
      But I just need the information.
      Take care and keep doing what you’re doing (:

      Sincerly your biggest fan,

      Alexis Jamil

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