Rob Stewart is an award winning wildlife photographer, filmmaker, conservationist and educator. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Stewart began photographing underwater when he was 13. By the age of 18 he became a scuba instructor trainer and then moved on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, studying in Ontario, Jamaica and Kenya.
Before making Sharkwater (2007), Stewart spent four years travelling the world as chief photographer for the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s magazines. Leading expeditions to the most remote areas of the world, Stewart’s highly sought after images have appeared in nearly every media form worldwide.
While on assignment to photograph sharks in the Galapagos Islands, Stewart discovered illegal longlining, killing sharks within the marine reserve. He tried promoting awareness through print media, 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 12 countries, resulting in the epic Sharkwater.
Sharkwater was released by Alliance Atlantis, Warner Bros., Disney and MK2 – and has been hugely successful, premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival and winning a “Canada’s Top Ten” award. Sharkwater made history with the largest opening weekend of any Canadian documentary, and was the most award-winning documentary of the year, winning over 40 awards at prestigious film festivals around the world. Sharkwater is credited as being the genesis for the shark conservation movement, changing government policy worldwide, and inspiring the creation of shark conservation groups.
Stewart’s second film Revolution brought the “evolution of life and the revolution to save us” to the public, was the highest grossing Canadian documentary in 2013, was released by D films, and has won 19 awards at film festival all around the world.
Stewart has written two award winning books – Sharkwater: An Odyssey to Save the Planet (Key Porter Books), and Save the Humans (Random House).
Stewart is on the board of numerous conservation groups including Wildaid, Shark Savers, Fin Free, United Conservationists, Shark Free, Shark Research Institute, and the NASA developed MEGA Global Initiative.
He has made featured appearances on numerous high profile TV shows including Larry King Live, The Today Show, Tonight Show, The Late Show, Nightline, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, ET Canada, Bloomberg, The Hour, BBC1, MTV and others. Stewart continues to work towards conservation and environmental education, speaking at the University of Victoria, Yale University, Vancouver Aquarium, ROM, TEDx events, and others.
In a 2011 The Grid Magazine survey, he was voted top living resident for making Toronto a better place.