Sharkwater: Demystifying Ocean Beasts


Can terror pass through amniotic fluid? My mother jokes that seeing Jaws at the height of her pregnancy transmitted the phobia that kept me from snorkeling in the open seas until age 27. Who knows? Certainly there are many of us out there whose greatest fear involves clinging to a flotation device, legs dangling, dorsal fins circling, with that indelible music accompanying the horror....

We've spoken of the disservice popular culture has done to our shark friends here and here. The new film Sharkwater, which opened in Canada on Friday and will premier in the States in September, gives them a new image, and explores some species' impending extinction:

Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

In an effort to protect sharks, [filmmaker] Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives.

Sharkwater's effect has been compared to March of the Penguins, and it has caught awards in festivals all over the world. Sounds like a good night at the movies, with the image makeover working as a bonus.

::Sharkwater, Sea Shepherd