“I can’t help but wish that there aren’t more Robs in the world.”
If you ask Eric, the plastics campaign coordinator with Halifax’s Greenpeace Chapter, what inspires him about SHARKWATER Extinction, he won’t cite a moment in the movie, or even the movie itself. He’ll say it’s Rob himself.
Rob Stewart was an ocean conservationist, an avid advocate and above all else, a protector of sharks. He believed that one of the most feared species is actually one of the most unfairly and unethically harvested in the world, and made it his life’s mission to expose this truth. After his mysterious and tragic passing, his parents continued his work by getting SHARKWATER Extinction onto screens around the world.
“The whole event came to be at the second Oceans Week workshop, Laura, a volunteer from ShARCC was toying with the idea of hosting a "shark talk" event. […] and from there I was hooked. The thought of a "shark talk" brought back memories from six years ago, when I was fortunate enough to meet Rob Stewart and listen to him talk about the ocean. It was such a significant moment for me.”
Eric began his work with Greenpeace in September 2016 after attending an event on the Halifax waterfront on the Arctic Sunrise ship. There, he picked up a handout on becoming a volunteer with Greenpeace, and noted there was not yet a chapter here in our coastal city – and set out to change that. Eric had the opportunity to meet Rob Stewart while on tour for his second film, Revolution. Backtracking though, Eric’s fascination with Rob’s work began with his first film, Sharkwater – it was what inspired him to delve into the world of advocacy and social change. Revolution though, was what re-centered him and focused his work on the ocean.
“Watching Rob interact with them in his films, it's surreal. Like watching the aurora borealis from the Arctic Circle, but without the cold; rather, a gentle warmth. Rob was a hero to me. But not the kind of hero you idolize to the point of creating smoke and mirrors, he was real. A real, genuine, humble, caring hero. To this day, I still don't know if I'll ever meet somebody as good as Rob. I will always spread his message, and do my part to continue his life's work.”
Rob’s dream was that everyone learns not just his story, but about the extent of the damage already done to our ocean, and takes action against these injustices. His book, Save the Humans, lives permanently on Eric’s desk. He says it is a constant reminder to never stop fighting, and to work endlessly to make Rob’s legacy proud.
Since first meeting Rob Stewart, Eric has educating himself tirelessly, learned to dive, had his own magical shark-diving interactions and has continued to spread the message that Sharkwater, Revolution and SHARKWATER Extinction exist to share – protect our ocean.
For anyone who would like to get involved with Greenpeace Halifax, Eric and the team are always looking for new volunteers! They have tons of opportunities for every skill set and time commitment - just reach out to them via their Facebook page @GreenpeaceHalifax. Another great way to get involved is to start by attending this screening. More information can be found at:
Event: SHARKWATER Extinction
Date: June 4: 6:30pm
Location: Potter Auditorium, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building / Dalhousie University / Halifax, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Description: For Oceans Weeks 2019 ShARCC is proud to team up with Greenpeace Halifax to host a screening of SHARKWATER Extinction. The evening will kick off with a short presentation on local shark species and conservation efforts, followed by Sharkwater and a Q&A by local shark experts from our team. Join us in honouring the late Rob Stewart and his final documentary on his mission to raise awareness and push conservation efforts for one of the oceans most threatened group of species.
Put on by Sharks of the Atlantic Research and Conservation Centre (ShARCC) / Greenpeace Halifax