Update 04/02/17: Unfortunately Rob has been found and is now with the angels. This is a devastating loss to us all and for the shark conservation cause. RIP Rob and thank you for being such an inspiration to us all.

The shark enthusiasts amongst us have been aware that the legend that is Rob Stewart has been lost at sea ever since he surfaced from a dive off the coast of Islamorada, Florida on the evening of the 31st of January 2017. He has won over and touched many people with his sheer passion, enthusiasm and love for sharks.

It is understandable why a large majority of people couldn’t care less about shark conservation, as they aren’t exactly portrayed as soft and cuddly creatures in the media. However, sharks have been around for 450 million years, long before the existence of land creatures or most plants on planet Earth. They have evolved and survived through many mass extinctions, but due to human intervention, their numbers have tragically dwindled and are on the brink of extinction.

This is why Rob Stewart is a hero, not only to me, but to many others as well. His passion shines through in his award winning documentaries as he follows the tragic plight of the shark fishing trade as well as the decimation of planet Earth by fellow humans, pleading to us to wake up and take action. His work has educated countless individuals and convinced them to care for this cause. In the modern world, it is getting harder and harder to get people to care enough to take action, yet his work has inspired many to start shark conservation groups as well as kick start conservation efforts from Governments and other companies.

Personally, I remember pre-ordering his first documentary Sharkwater on DVD and running home to experience the stunning videography in silent awe. I can honestly say it was the starting point of my career in Science and inspired me to do all that I can to support shark conservation. Even though my career path hasn’t gone the way I thought it would, I still hope to finish my PhD soon and hopefully go on to study the evolution of sharks. It has been a dream of mine to be able to work with him and I hope I will still get the chance to do so.

Rob Stewart is the voice for a group of fish facing inevitable extinction. He embodies the passion and enthusiasm that we should all have for a cause we believe in. His work is not yet complete.

Here’s hoping and praying for the best.

Header Photograph from Instagram