United Conservationists

United Conservationists

May 17, 2012 14:33 ET

Sharkwater Film by Rob Stewart Proof Sea Shepherd Captain Innocent

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2012) -

Editor's Note: There is a photo associated with this press release

Filmmaker Rob Stewart joins the global call to free Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, after German officials continue to detain him with a preliminary extradition arrest warrant to Costa Rica. Stewart has now released video evidence from his documentary Sharkwater to prove Watson's innocence.

Captain Paul Watson was detained in Germany on May 12, 2012 for an international warrant for his arrest. The arrest is based on allegations of violating "ships traffic" in Guatemalan waters, after a clash in 2002 between fishermen on the ship Varadero 1 who were illegally poaching sharks and the Sea Shepherd's ship, Ocean Warrior.

The event took place during the filming of Rob Stewart's award-winning documentary Sharkwater, released in 2007, which brought the shark finning industry into the spotlight. Stewart says his film disproves the accusations made against Watson; a released clip of the incident is made available here (credit Sharkwater).

"The fishermen were not injured and their boat was not damaged," said Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart, who witnessed the altercation. "There was no attempt to harm any human life. The charges were originally dropped once the authorities saw my footage. Paul's arrest does however show that the same problems portrayed in Sharkwater may still plague Costa Rica - and now more than ever we need Paul Watson free."

Shark finning is an often illegal-practice, whereby sharks are killed for their fins, the key ingredient in shark fin soup, a popular dish in the Asian market. In just a few decades, some shark populations have declined by over 95 per cent, and their populations continue to plummet.

"This is a great 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."

Stewart is calling on everyone to put pressure on the German Federal Minister of Justice and Federal Affairs to free Watson immediately.

Media Clips:

http://vimeo.com/42171668

To view Sharkwater on iTunes:

Canadian link

U.S. link

German link

Photo Gallery:

http://www.sharkwater.com/gallery.htm

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120517-finfree8.jpg.

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