Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Sharkwater Proves Paul Watson’s Innocence
TORONTO – Filmmaker Rob Stewart joins the global call to free Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd, after German officials decided to extradite him to Costa Rica on Tuesday. Stewart has now released video evidence from his documentary Sharkwater to prove Watson’s innocence.
Captain Paul Watson was arrested in Germany on Saturday for an international warrant of his arrest. The arrest is based on allegations of violating “ships traffic” in Guatemalan waters, after a clash in 2002 between fisherman of the ship Varadero who were illegally poaching sharks and the Sea Shepherd crew intercepting. The incident resulted in the fishermen accusing Captain Watson of attempted murder.
The event took place during the filming of Rob Stewart’s award-winning documentary Sharkwater, later released in 2007. Stewart says his film disproves the accusations, a released clip of the incident is made available here (credit Sharkwater).
“It was an accidental collision,” said Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart, who witnessed the altercation. “There was no attempt to harm any human life. However, the arrest of Paul Watson shows that there is a bigger problem afoot, that after ten years sharks continue to be unprotected.”
Shark finning is an often illegal-practice, whereby sharks are killed for their fins for a lucrative underground market. In just a few decades, some regional shark populations have declined by over 95%, and their populations continue to plummet.
“This is the true injustice, as sharks play a vital role to the health of our marine ecosystems,” said Stewart. “That is why I founded United Conservationists, a collaborative global response to sustain the ecosystems we depend on. If the sharks and humans are to survive the challenges ahead, we must build a global movement,” said Stewart.
Stewart is currently editing his new movie, Revolution, which features the issue of shark finning as well as many other critical environmental issues we’ll need to address if humans are to survive the next century.
Media Clips: Vimeo*
Photo Gallery: Sharkwater.com